MNAs lash out at US for Aafia’s conviction; seek strategy for her release

ISLAMABAD, Sep 29 (APP): Members of the National Assembly on Wednesday strongly condemned the conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui by a US court sentencing her for 86 years, stressing the government to devise an effective strategy to ensure her respectable release from the US captivity. The Lower House of the Parliament admitted an adjournment motion regarding non-release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui from prison in the USA that was supported by the members from both sides of the aisle through standing vote that was followed by two-hour discussion on the motion.

Opening discussion on the motion, Chaudhry Muhammad Birjees Tahir condemned the illegal arrest and trial of Dr Aafia for the crime that was not committed by her. Urging the parliamentarians to cancel all visits to the United States till Aafias release, he asked the government to server diplomatic ties with the US.He viewed Peraz Musharraf as the sole responsible for handing over Dr. Afia to the US and sought registration of criminal case against him. He proposed the government to withdraw its cooperation with the United States in war against terrorism as the country has suffered loss worth billions of dollars in this war.

Parliamentary Leader of Pakistan Muslim League Faisal Saleh Hayat disclosed that Dr Aafia was not arrested in March 30, 2003 as the list of most wanted persons issued by FBI in 2004 contained the name of Dr Aafia. He rejected a notion that Musharraf-led government had handed over 300 hundred Pakistanis to the US against $5,000 each and said if it is true, the government should prove as in which account those dollars were deposited.

He assured the House that Aafia was not handed over to the US during November 2002 to September 2004 when he himself held the portfolio of interior minister. Faisal Saleh Hayat said a US congressman had offered a formula for Aafias release and questioned as why the government had not availed that opportunity.

He said the government should brief the House as from where and on what charges she was arrested and suggested a committee comprising members from Senate and National Assembly to pressure the US administration warning it for severing strategic ties if Dr Aafia was nit released – App