The Verdict of Dr Afia and Our Reaction -by Raza Habib Raja


Right now the media is voicing its vociferous opposition to the sentence handed to Dr. Afia Siddiqui. The entire case, even before the verdict was announced, had become an overly emotional episode for the Pakistanis. The media has been whipping a lot of frenzy for a considerable period of time. This case overshadows even horrendous acts of terrorism in terms of the condemnation generated.

I will not debate the technical aspects of the case as frankly the court which gave the verdict was better equipped to weigh and decide. We often have the tendency to become “experts” while having flimsy evidence. During the past two years particularly when the case was being fought in US, Ms Afia’s was simply assumed to be a victim of some grand conspiracy and this presumption was propagated everywhere on the media. The hue and cry which the media constantly whipped and is continuing to whip often rode on nothing concrete in terms of evidence. All the time, Miss Afia was simply assumed as a victim of a grand conspiracy of the United States and nothing else.

Having followed the case over the past two years, I do acknowledge that the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and subsequent reappearance are suspicious. These circumstances do pose several questions particularly on the ways of our intelligence networks. However to spin stories that the entire case was fabricated by the US to punish Miss Afia is frankly stretching things too much.

It has often defied my cognitive faculties that what possible “benefit” can US get by building a totally fabricated case against her. If anything the US government was aware of the possible backlash the guilty verdict would have caused. And the backlash is there and increasing with every moment.

All the right wing elements in Pakistan are again having a field day. Once again our attention is completely captured by this incidence and our anger is not because of “unfairness” of the verdict but in reality is underpinned by our hatred of USA. It is not because an “innocent” woman has been penalised.

These voices are completely silent when far sinister things happen to our own women in Pakistan. For those who are really passionate about “inhuman” treatment to the daughter of the nation, let me remind them that our country has draconian laws like Hadood ordinance against women. Let me remind them that there are many women languishing in Pakistani jails and in far more inhuman state. I find their silence hypocritical and shameless on those issues. In fact the right wing religious conservatives in our country who are most vocal against Afia verdict right now are the ones who oppose revocation of draconian laws like Hadood.

But then we have developed this mindset where we get more angry not on the severity of the incidence but on whether it has some direct or indirect linkage with US and the West.

We continue to have this misplaced anger and consequently end up damaging ourselves. Afia’s case was not construed as a case of a woman wrongly accused but as a conspiracy of USA to defame Muslims and hence the overboard reaction. It is this mindset which needs to be changed.

Source: Pakteahouse


4 responses to “The Verdict of Dr Afia and Our Reaction -by Raza Habib Raja”

  1. It is once again confirmed that Imran Khan cannot live without populist, pro-Taliban politics.

    It is also evident that those waiting for a messiah in the shape of Imran Khan are living in fools’ paradise.

    Pakistani media, once again, has shown that it is least objective, only focused on commercial interests by riding the waves of populist, sensational ‘news’, which is carefully in line with the ISI’s guidelines.

    Here are some relevant articles on Aafia Siddiqui published on this blog:

    Aafia Siddiqui’s daughter’s reappearance: The CIA and ISI should come clean – by Kamran Shafi
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9482

    Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s case and Pakistani media’s hysteria – by Farhat Taj
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/6051

    Some legal aspects of Aafia Siddiqui’s case: A rebuttal to Babar Sattar – by Usman Ahmad
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/5906

    From Maududi to Aafia – by Nadeem F. Paracha
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/5663

    A critical analysis of Aafia Siddiqui’s case – by Anas Abbas
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/5569

    Aafia Siddiqui: An Objective Overview – by Anas Muhammad
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/5400

    Mata Hari of Al Qaeda: The mystery of Dr Aafia Siddiqui
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/1736

    Do Dr Aafia Siddiqui and Major Nadal Hasan represent Islam?
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/1654

    Dr Aafia Siddiqui: The other side of the picture
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/988

  2. معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ مضمون کسی امریکہ پرست نمے لکھا ہے اور جو پاکستان سے زیادہ امریکہ کا وفادار ہے اور میں اسکے کیا کہ سکتا ہوں
    کہ شاہ سے شاہ کے وفا داروں
    شرم تم کو مگر نہیں آتی

  3. معلوم ہوتا ہے کہ مضمون کسی امریکہ پرست نمے لکھا ہے اور جو پاکستان سے زیادہ امریکہ کا وفادار ہے اور میں اسکے کیا کہ سکتا ہوں Kashif Naseer says: September 25, 2010 at 6:13 am
    ================
    Reaction and stand should be like this!

    As per Daily Jang dated [Friday, September 24, 2010, Shawwal 14, 1431 A.H Updated at: 0010] MQM Founder Mr. Altaf Hussain says that had MQM been in the government it would have severed its relations with USA, AND ITS WESTERN ALLIES INCLUDING NATO in protest against the 86 Years sentence of of Dr. Afia Siddiqui in US Courts. http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/sep2010-daily/24-09-2010/u46939.htm

    Now read what Mr. Muhammad Anwar [Member of Central Coordination Committee MQM] had said while supporting the War on Terror

    “QUOTE”

    I, on behalf of the MQM and the permanent citizens of Sindh offered fullest and unconditional support to the United States and Great Britain in combating and eradicating terrorism from face of the earth including Afghanistan. I offered them humint resources for intelligence gathering and monitoring of “Madrassas” in Sindh province and Punjab. I organised “Rally Against Terrorism” in Karachi in which, over 300,000 men, women and children participated to show their solidarity with the International Community on 26th. September 2001. This was the first demonstration of its kind in favour of the United States and Great Britain, in any part of the world. The “Rally against Terrorism” was followed by the province-wide vigil on 27th. September 2001. Terrorism and violence, in any shape or form, cannot and will not be tolerated, whether committed by the Governments’, groups or individuals, in any part of the world. We must endeavour to make the world free of violence, terrorism, hatred and vengeance. REFERENCE: Speech by Mr. Anwar MQM at Seminar on Positioning Pakistan in “War Against Terrorism”Chairperson Sindhi-Baloch Forum Conway Hall, London WC1 Speech given by Mr. Anwar on behalf of Mr. Altaf Hussain who could not attend the function because of his brother- in-law’s serious health condition. Organisers: World Sindhi Congress & Baloch Voice (Sindhi Baloch forum) 2.12.01
    http://www.balochvoice.com/SBF/Seminar_MQM_2_12_01.html

    “UNQUOTE”

    I want to tell them that I am not afraid of anyone, whether it’s a superpower like the United States or its Nato allies or their Pakistani agents…I fear the Almighty Allah and will never bow down before the conspirators even if they get my British citizenship rescinded.”
    Mr Hussain condemned the sentencing of Dr Aafia Siddiqui by a US court and said that had the MQM been in power it would have severed all diplomatic ties with the US, its allies and Nato. “Why was Dr Aafia awarded such a sentence when she did not kill anyone,” he asked. He appealed to US President Barack Obama to set aside the sentence and release her. REF: MQM chief Altaf says he is next target By Our Staff Reporter Saturday, 25 Sep, 2010
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/altaf-says-he-is-next-target-590

    Now read what Mr. Muhammad Anwar [Member of Central Coordination Committee MQM] had said while supporting the War on Terror

    “QUOTE”

    The Military and the ISI had created the Taliban and hundreds other terrorists groups, trained them, fed them, nourished them and then armed them in the name of “Jihad”. It then, connected them with Osama-bin-Laden and his Al-Qaeda to conquer the entire Afghanistan in search of strategic-depth in case of an Indian attack. Expecting Pakistan to fight terrorism is like asking Frank stein to destroy his own monster.

    While supporting the United States, Great Britain and the International Community in dismantling the Taliban and Al-Qaeda network, the ISI continually played the double game. It continued its logistic support to the Taliban, formulated their war strategy including supply of arms and men. The MQM continuously kept informing President George W Bush and the Prime Minister Rt.Hon. Tony Blair about the double game and duplicity of the ISI. The intelligence information gathering of the MQM was validated by the voluminous International Press reports about the double game of the ISI, later on. REFERENCE: Speech by Mr. Anwar MQM at Seminar on Positioning Pakistan in “War Against Terrorism”Chairperson Sindhi-Baloch Forum Conway Hall, London WC1 Speech given by Mr. Anwar on behalf of Mr. Altaf Hussain who could not attend the function because of his brother- in-law’s serious health condition. Organisers: World Sindhi Congress & Baloch Voice (Sindhi Baloch forum) 2.12.01
    http://www.balochvoice.com/SBF/Seminar_MQM_2_12_01.html

    “UNQUOTE”