Written By: Yvonne Ridley


Yvonne Ridley writes from Karachi, Pakistan on the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who has been sentenced by the US to 86 years in prison. Yvonne discusses her case, raising issues in relation to the War on Terror and Pakistani society. 




For years I’ve struggled to find a reason why Dr Aafia Siddiqui is still languishing in a prison in Texas.


Set aside my views that she is innocent and a victim of a gross miscarriage of justice who epitomises all that is wrong with the War on Terror.


Why has she not been transferred to a prison near her home in Karachi where she can serve the remainder of her sentence near her family and in her country of origin?


I have seen a couple of Pakistani Prime Ministers and their cabinets reduced to tears over the plight of a woman who has become known as ‘The Daughter of the Nation.’


Seeing a grown man cry, thumping the table and demanding justice for Aafia was very moving the first time; a little wearing the second and third time; and now I just despair at this charade.

Not only has she come to represent all that is wrong with the War on Terror but she has also become a symbol of everything that is wrong with Pakistani society.

Empty promises have been made to her despairing family that she will be returned.


I don’t even think the Americans are interested in holding on to her anymore; I’m reliably informed they’d be quite happy to let her go. She has, after all, served her purpose and proved to be a useful instrument for the architects who wanted to maintain a fear factor over the War on Terror.


Now that their intelligence agencies have established that a neuroscientist is concerned with the biology of the nervous system and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons and bombs (I kid you not) they are no longer bothered about holding on to her.


So why is Aafia still in Texas? Why has she not been put into a prisoner transfer programme?


The answer is probably found among the pages of the national media… most Pakistani men simply do not value their women and the evidence is there for all to see.


In today’s The Nation, there’s a story about a woman and her two daughters murdered in their home in Rawalpindi; just below it is another story headlined: “Youth kills uncle, aunty; another ends life after shooting brother’s wife” and on the opposite page you can read about: “Cop shot dead; wife, 2 kids strangulated in Karachi.”


Meanwhile, the opinion pages are still analysing the stoning to death of Farzana Iqbal near the Lahore High Court while her unscathed husband Iqbal who murdered his first wife, is demanding justice for his loss.


While it is always dangerous to stereotype, I can only come to one conclusion: many men in Pakistan don’t value their women, their daughters or any females. We are, in these men's eyes, lesser beings.


It is an opinion held from those in the loftiest of towers to those living in humble abodes in the boondocks of Pakistan. From politicians to paupers, women are viewed as being rather unimportant.


That the killer of Benazir Bhutto is still at large and Farzana’s murderers are unlikely to face justice surprises no one.


Oh yes, the sneering elite and the peasant masses raise their eyebrows and sigh with indignation over the killings, rapes, and abuse meted out to Pakistani women but until this institutionalised sexism and misogyny is tackled head on women will continue to take a back seat.


Only when they genuinely are able to stand shoulder to shoulder with their men will we get any chance at all of delivering justice to Dr Aafia Siddiqui.


Not only has she come to represent all that is wrong with the War on Terror but she has also become a symbol of everything that is wrong with Pakistani society.


To the long line of male politicians who’ve promised to bring her home, I say don’t give me your tears for they are worthless.



I would love to be proved wrong for the sake of the female population and for the sake of Aafia.


Resolutions Adopted at Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora of

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Posted on 07 June 2014 by Admin_markaz


Resolutions Adopted at Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora of Jam...

New Delhi, 07 June 2014: A 4-day session of Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora (Central Advisory Council – CAC) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind concluded here last evening with Amir ...

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New Delhi, 07 June 2014: A 4-day session of Markazi Majlis-e-Shoora (Central Advisory Council – CAC) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind concluded here last evening with Amir Jamaat Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Omari in the chair. The issues confronting the country and the community were discussed at length. The following members of CAC participated therein:

Mr. Muhammad Jafar (Deputy Amir), Mr. Nusrat Ali (Secretary General), Dr. Muhammad Rafat, Eng. Muhammad Salim, Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, Dr. Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Dr. Hasan Raza, Mr. H. Abdur Raqeeb, Mr. S. Aminul Hasan, Maulana Waliullah Saidi, Mr. T. Arif Ali, Mr. Ejaz Ahmed Aslam, Mr. V.K. Ali, Mr. Mujtaba Farooq, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad (Special Invitee), and Mr. Muhammad Shafi Madni (Special Invitee).

The session adopted the following resolutions:


The Present Political Scenario in the Country

The CAC of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind considers the post 2014 election scenario to be an important political change. While one section takes this change as the beginning of a new era of development and better governance in the country, some other sections and groups have apprehensions over the government’s corporate leaning and ambitions of cultural aggression.

The CAC wants to remind the ruling coalition that it has got votes basically in the name of development and prosperity, better and effective governance and equal and just treatment to all sections of the country. The CAC expects that the NDA Government will concentrate its attention on these pledges and declarations, and will prove wrong the apprehensions some sections have nurtured in this regard.

The CAC of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind tends to make it clear that the Independent Republic of India has been formed under a democratic constitution and the principle of non-discrimination among citizens. This Constitution does not make any undue discrimination against any section on the basis of religion, community, caste, region, language and culture. With regard to distribution of resources and justice delivery, the three pillars of the Republic – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary – also do not make any differentiation between the rich and the poor. This is another matter that the powers-that-be have committed many shortcomings in this regard during the last 65 years. The various sections of citizens have many complaints but as a whole there is rule of law in the country. Therefore, it is hoped that the present Government too will discharge its duties under this very system and keep from taking the measures that can give way to misgivings among the citizens or an atmosphere of confrontation.

This session of the CAC appeals to all citizens of the country to strive together towards the progress and development of the country, not to let any conflict grow among them on the bases of religion, region and language, etc., not to provide any opportunity for selfish elements to enter their ranks to fulfil their unholy ambitions by poisoning the pleasant atmosphere of the society with their sentimental slogans. Let them strive to create an atmosphere in the society wherein peace and rule of law prevails. If someone is subjected to oppression, let them all raise their voice together. Let them cooperate with one another in promotion of virtues and eradication of evils. Let there be consideration for morality and democratic values and let there be respect and protection for the rights of all citizens. There is need for the citizens of a democratic country to remain awakened and vigilant so that their elected representatives and government discharge their duties in a proper manner; and if the latter happen to take any action against the Constitution and public interest, efforts may be made to stop them in a democratic way.

This session of CAC draws the attention of Muslims in India not to relinquish sincerity and dignity, steadfastness, wisdom and prudence, however unexpected and serious the situation. They are an Ummah holding the Deen of Allah. Its first demand is that they turn to Allah, refresh their submission to Him, subject themselves to honest self-accountability, make speaking the truth their identity, never yield to oppression, be the standard-bearer of justice, and keep from sentimental and extremist attitude as well as depression and despondency. For this they will have to move forward with self-confidence as well as zeal and enthusiasm.

This session of CAC appeals to Muslims, their organisations and leaders to nurture among them unity and concord on Islamic principles, promote Islamic brotherhood, keep from every attempt to create disparity and disintegration, make the federal forums and collective institutions of Muslims effective, and make efforts in order to leave together an impact on the situation prevailing in the country.

One important task before the CAC is to initiate concerted efforts to leave a positive impact on the socio-political condition of Muslims in India. Instead of confining to their protection and defence, the Muslims should think of and strive for the welfare of the entire country and all her citizens, and should stand witness unto Islam with their practical approach.

The Situation in the Muslim World

This session of CAC expresses its grave concern and sadness on the ongoing blood-shedding in some countries of the Muslim world and the intrigue of world powers and some Muslim governments.

The way an elected, democratic government was sacked, thousands of people were imprisoned, and the dance of death is going on in Egypt is the blackest chapter in the history of Egypt. Now, following trial proceedings lasting only for minutes in so-called courts, death sentences are being pronounced for hundreds of people together. This is enough to show that the oppressive rulers of Egypt have nothing to do with equity and justice and respect of human life.

The way people rejected the lie of presidential election in Egypt is enough to prove that the present ruler and his policies are not acceptable to people. Despite this, the silence and indifference of world powers is gravely unfortunate. What is more unfortunate is the attitude of some Muslim counties that are contributing all out to the killing of their brethren and extermination of Islam and the Islamic Movements.

The same drama of elections is being played in Syria as well. After the brutal killing of 2.5 lakh citizens, displacement of 50,00,000 people, and completely destroying tens of regions, the dictator of Syria is now going to seek votes from his oppressed public. The way world powers and international institutions have adopted criminal indifferent attitude towards Syria is also much condemnable. After the failure of Geneva II talks, there is no scope for the president of Syria to continue in the saddle. The session demands that the ruler of Syria quits with immediate effect and the world powers and the United Nations play their role for this. Moreover, all possible measures should be taken for the victims to get justice and for their rehabilitation.

The session expresses pleasure on the recent reconciliation between the pro-Palestine cause parties Al Fatah and Hamas and formation of unity government; and welcoming this government, congratulates the Palestinian people. The session hopes that this unity will remain intact; and with this spirit of unity and reconciliation the Palestinian organisations will try to solve its tangled issue. This session appeals to all countries of the world as well as our own country to recognise this new formed government and Palestine as an independent state. The session appeals to the Arab League as well as the Arab countries to come forward as per their previous pledges to extend financial aid to Palestine.

This session condemns in the strongest terms the way oppression and brutality being unleashed against the opposition in Bangladesh especially the leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (BJI). The session hopes that the oppressed will get justice from the international court. The way people supported the BNP-BJI alliance in the local body elections shows that these measures taken by the Bangladesh government do not have public support. The session demands from the government of Bangladesh to keep from these oppressive measures, and appeals to international institutions as well as our own country to exercise their power and influence in this regard.

Increasing Atrocities against Women

This session of CAC strongly condemns the rape and brutal murder of two girls in Badaun town of Uttar Pradesh, and demands from the government of Uttar Pradesh to give due punishment to the culprits.

The CAC feels that despite all legislations, government measures and assurances, the cases of rape and kidnapping of women and the chain of atrocities against them refuse to stop. This is an unfortunate fact that even the protectors of law have been found hands in glove in such cases.

The CAC feels that mere legislation and temporary measures cannot put an end to the savage atrocities against women unless and until all the causes and motives responsible for these incidences are crushed with an iron hand.

Rising sexual waywardness, obscenity and nudity, aping western culture, alcohol and drugs, live-in relationship and such legislations that pave the way for free sexual relationships are responsible for sexual violence against women. Likewise, it is also a fact that prostitution, which has emerged as a big industry in the country, enjoys legal sanction. Poor girls having been kidnapped from the various regions are forced into this hell.

The CAC feels that internet, media and porn sites besides print and electronic media and films play a big role in promoting crimes of sexual waywardness. The CAC demands from the Government to fix all these holes and sources of crimes, to make stringent legislation to contain obscenity and nudity in media, and to put a blanket ban on all porn sites, obscene films and programmes in India with immediate effect.

The CAC also appeals to women organisations and civil society movement to put pressure on the Government to take all the above mentioned measures rather than mere staging of protests and demanding stringent laws as they are not enough.

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