Monday, April 25, 2011

Imran Khan's Rally but Marvi Memon says "Dr. Aafia is an alleged Al Qaeda, CIA agent!

The PTI leader said the nation did not want to continue to be slaves of America and wanted an independent Pakistan in line with the wishes of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. “We will make Pakistan so strong that people of other countries would come here to seek jobs,” he said. PML-N’s MNA Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and PML-Q’s lawmaker Marvi Memon also attended the sit-in, which had started on Saturday. Mr Khan welcomed them. Extending an invitation to Marvi Memon to join the PTI, he asked workers of other political parties to tell their leaders to stand up against the US or join the PTI. “We will provide protection to women, children and other weak elements of society against the international aggressor; the US is an aggressor because it violates the international law by targeting the innocent people,” he said, adding that all those not convicted by courts were innocent and therefore the US had no right to kill the Pakistanis. REFERENCE: Imran warns of march on Islamabad By Ashfaq Yusufzai | From the Newspaper (20 hours ago) Today

Dr Shahid Masood Exposed in Dr Shazia Khalid Rape Case (Bolta Pakistan 13th July 2011)

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He extended formal invitation to Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, the ANP dissident member of the National Assembly from Mardan, and PML-Q member of the National Assembly Marvi Memon to join his party. Earlier, Javed Hashmi, senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), addressed the gathering. He lauded Imran Khan for taking the step to mobilise the masses against the drone strikes and supplies to the Nato forces. He said the stance of all the political forces in Pakistan over the drone attacks was almost the same. However, he said the difference was about taking practical steps in this regard. “Imran Khan is the only leader who came out openly against the brutalities being committed by the US,” he added. The emotional Javed Hashmi, who was accorded a warm welcome by the PTI workers, said: “The PML-N’s stance on the drone issue is the same as the PTI, but now we should also take to the streets. The PML-N leader said: “The war in the region will end the day we stop the supplies to the Nato forces in Afghanistan. Peace will be restored in Pakistan and the people will take a sigh of relief.” “I will request all the political parties to forge unity and stage a sit-in at the Karachi Port where the supplies to the Nato forces arrive and are despatched,” he said. He paid tributes to Peshawarites for rendering great sacrifices during the ongoing militancy. “The people of Peshawar are fighting the war of Pakistan’s survival and I salute them,” he added. Marvi Memon, who despite a fracture in her leg attended the event, stated in her speech that the drone attacks and Nato supplies should be stopped. She said the drone attacks had badly hurt the country’s sovereignty. “The government should take concrete steps to halt these strikes as innocent people are being targeted in the attacks,” she added. REFERENCE: Nato route to be blocked if drone attacks continue: Imran Tauseef-ur-Rahman Monday, April 25, 2011

PESHAWAR, April 23: Dr Fauzia has appealed to Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to play his role to release her sister, Dr Aafia, from a prison in the United States. Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, she said that rulers were unable to raise voice against the United States despite the ruthless killing of innocent people in the drone attacks in tribal areas. She said that she would offer bangles to the rulers on the occasion of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf sit-in at Hayatabad against drone attacks for their failure to release Dr Aafia from an American prison. She said that rulers had allowed smooth supply of goods to Nato forces in Afghanistan that was a matter of shame. “I appreciated Imaran Khan for mobilising masses against the US hegemony in the region,” she said, adding she was invited to the event where she would present bangles to the rulers at least to remind them their national duties.

She appealed to the chief of army staff to play his role for securing sovereignty of the country and releasing her sister Dr Aafia. “It is a matter of shame for the rulers that being an atomic power Pakistan is under constant attacks by the Americans, which has been killing our innocent people,” she said and added that Pak Army had the capacity to counter aggression of any country and could stop drone attacks. Dr Fauzia, also a leader of Afia Movement, claimed that Americans offered to swap Dr Aafia with Raymond Davis but rulers failed to take advantage of the opportunity. She said that the rulers were not sincere to make efforts for release of Dr Aafia. She alleged that rulers had lost national pride and that was why they could not dare to stop drone attacks and supply to Nato forces in the neighbouring country. “We need another Mohammad Bin Qasim, who came to this region on the complaint of a Muslim woman and conquered Sindh. Afia is a daughter and a sister of the entire nation, so the rulers should make efforts to bring her back,” she added. REFERENCE: Army chief urged to play role in release of Aafia Bureau Report | From the Newspaper Yesterday

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KARACHI: A prominent, vocal Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Marvi Memon has said that Dr. Aafia is an alleged Al Qaeda and CIA agent; till she is proven innocent in Pakistani courts, she can not be called as the daughter of Pakistan or a national hero. Marvi, talking to SAMAA, has said that the reality about Dr. Aafia is being hidden and all political leaders and government representatives are trying to gain political mileage and applause from the people by expressing popular sentiments about her. She added that she and many others did not participate in the parliamentarians' walk out staged on Monday, so it can not be called as an unanimous walk out in favor of Dr. Aafia. She continued to say that she has the courage to speak her heart out, while others who avoided the walk are afraid of people’s anger and have chosen to remain silent. Memon further added that apart from the US allegations, she has come to know through other sources that Dr. Aafia has been accused of being an agent of Al Qaeda and CIA. “She is also allegedly a US citizen and I want to know the reality; she must be brought back and put under trial within the country to expose the reality and the truth behind the allegations leveled against her,” she added. “I demand that the real facts be brought in front of the nation. Real leaders only speak the truth and do not follow wrong sentiments of the masses. Those who are claiming to be well-wishers of Dr. Aafia are dared to solemnly say that they really convinced of her innocence - or are they just following the popular mood of the masses of Pakistan,” she demanded. “Earlier she was a citizen of Pakistan; she later acquired US citizenship. She must be brought back as she has broken Pakistani law. She must be probed within the country to expose the real truth. An alleged CIA and Al Qaeda agent can not be called a daughter of the nation or national hero until she is cleared of all the allegations. I can not share the truth told by the others as I personally want to be sure of it,” Marvi Memon commented. SAMAA REFERENCE: Dr. Aafia is an alleged Al Qaeda, CIA agent: Marvi Memon Updated on: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:42:00 PM

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It is so easy to follow the popular mood of the country. But it is so morally wrong to do so, if one knows it is based on a lie. That was my dilemma last week. Having heard plenty of evidence corroborating Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s alleged links to CIA and al Qaeda, from all those who had held important and relevant posts then and now, it became incumbent on me not to follow the herd. It became necessary for me to call a spade a spade and for that reason I was not part of the National Assembly walkout in her favour. Having said that, I have always maintained that she should be brought back to Pakistan and be tried here because she is a Pakistani, even though there are doubts that she may now have American nationality. Her trial in the US was far from fair with many human rights violations against her, but till allegations against her dangerous links are proven wrong she could not be called ‘qaum ki beti’. I also added that real leadership did not ‘cash in’ on wrong popular moods.

In the process I was targeted by certain vultures inside and outside my political party. I was the victim of a character assassination campaign and it reminded me of McCarthyism. This was the kind of bullying that scares most people. But I held my ground. I noticed that even though many people had not taken part in the walkout no one wanted to challenge the popular mood since they feared a public outcry. Each one of those vultures wanted to ‘use’ Dr Aafia to earn votes. The kind of labels that were tagged on me for those couple of days were unbelievable. Why? Simply because I challenged a cashing in strategy based on lies. What is Pakistan losing as a result of this McCarthyism? It is losing the liberalist agenda to the jihadists. It is losing focus of what the real issues are — it is now clear that every single political party inside and outside parliament would rather take the popular course of action rather than the correct one. And that to me is the most distasteful truth of the current Pakistani political set-up. It means that we don’t have leaders. We have users. Pakistan spent a key week holding rallies in support of Dr Aafia. During that time I didn’t see any huge rallies for real causes such as in support of the incredible new Kashmiri intifada standing up to human rights violations in Indian Kashmir. In the process we lost out on focusing on the miseries of flood victims.

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The point is, do we set the agenda on haq or do we follow the wrong agenda? Pakistanis today have a choice. They can truly kick out the cowards and users and rally behind those fighting for haq. If not, then the future options for fixing the problems in Pakistan will be bleak. And yes, it takes courage to do correct agenda setting. But it is Pakistan’s only salvation. I am not in for a popularity contest. I am after ‘haq’, in which it is important to accept that certain choices made in the past may have been wrong. It is better to fix the wrong course of direction rather than to follow it for political expediency. That is the difference between ‘new politics’ and old politics. Published in The Express Tribune October 6th, 2010. REFERENCE: Dr Aafia — when will we stop playing to the gallery? By Marvi Memon Published: October 5, 2010

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ISLAMABAD: Legislators from the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) on Tuesday remained split over the conviction and fate of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, as the House discussed and admitted an adjournment motion regarding the non-release of Dr Aafia from prison in the US. MNA Marvi Memon was of the view that “we should not go with the popular movement and not turn a blind eye to the facts”. She said there was enough off-the-record material that suggested that Aafia was allegedly associated with al Qaeda and the CIA. Marvi said that people gave statements in the media that were completely contradictory to what they said in private gatherings about the past of Dr Aafia. However, Marvi said Aafia’s trial in the US was unjust, but added that Aafia could not be described as a daughter of the nation until she was proven innocent by the jury. She said that some parliamentarians had not participated in protest walks because they thought the issue was being politicised. Marvi said Pakistan was losing its liberal agenda, which could not be regained by following what is wrong, adding that rather it could be achieved by only believing in the facts.

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However, other PML-Q members, including Sheikh Waqas Akram and Raza Hayat Hiraj, were of different views and lashed out at Marvi for her comments. Sheikh Waqas Akram said it was not time to forward an agenda of liberalism and pursue an agenda of western nations, as it would in no way benefit the nation as well as individuals. Raza Hayat Hiraj asked the government for suspension of the NATO supply line until the US government releases Dr Aafia. He said that despite unanimous resolutions by both Houses of parliament, the US was not ready to release Dr Aafia and stop drone strikes inside Pakistan.

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Captain (r) Safdar of the PML-N suggested the government form a parliamentary committee to probe the alleged association of Dr Aafia with al Qaeda. He said had Pervez Musharraf resisted US pressure, the country could not have even dared to arrest Dr Aafia. Hanif Abbasi urged the government to discontinue the policies of Pervez Musharraf despite having the mandate to rid the country of poverty, inflation and terrorism. He said if the government does not review its foreign policy, the repatriation of Dr Aafia would be impossible and the government should take a dignified and firm stance on the issue. Asif Hasnain said the issue does not relate to only Dr Aafia, rather it is an outcome of previous policies being pursued by Pakistan for years. He said if the nation stands united on the issue of Dr Aafia, it would pave a way for resolution of other national and international issues. REFERENCE: PML-Q divided over Aafia issue Wednesday October 06, 2010 (1536 PST) End.

Tail Piece is for Mr. Imran Khan and People of Pakistan

Q. Have you ever been approached by political or other groups for support?

A. Once, I was approached by General Hamid Gul, Imran Khan and few others, mostly military and intelligence officials, who were conspiring to overthrow Benazir Bhutto`s second government and wanted me to get involved. I declined because I am a social worker and not a politician. I also did not want to tarnish the credibility of my organisation by getting embroiled in something that obviously seemed quite disturbing. Eventually, I was made to feel threatened enough to temporarily leave the country.

Abdul Sattar Edhi, the founder of the Edhi Foundation, is unarguably the most renowned philanthropist in Pakistan. - Eefa Khalid/

“Pakistan is at a critical make-or-break stage” By Qurat ul ain Siddiqui March 15, 2010 

Abdul Sattar Edhi, the founder of the Edhi Foundation, is unarguably the most renowned philanthropist in Pakistan. He began his work in 1951 with the opening of a free, one-room medical clinic in Karachi. Currently, his foundation runs 250 centres across the country and houses more than 2,000 children at any given time.

The centres also provide free burial of unclaimed bodies, free health care and dispensaries, rehabilitation of drug addicts, free assistance for the handicapped, and family planning counselling. Over 6,000 destitute, runaways, and mentally challenged individuals are also in the foundation`s care. The Edhi Foundation has also managed to raise the largest single fleet of ambulances in Pakistan, providing transportation to over one million persons annually. The foundation is also involved in relief efforts for victims of natural and other disasters on a national and international level. speaks with Edhi to gauge how the foundation has been affected by the ongoing political and security situation.

Q. Your foundation is involved in a range of activities. How do you decide what projects to pursue?

A. My work involves supporting those who have no one to look after them. That also involves looking after the dead bodies and arranging a respectable burial for them. I cannot say no to anyone.

Q. Is there any part of the country where your organisation has encountered problems owing to the security situation?

A. We have never had any serious problems with anyone. There have been incidents reported by our workers and volunteers regarding hide-snatching [during Eid-ul-Azha] in the past, but we are operating as we always have. In fact, we are also planning to establish centres in Tank and Hangu. Even the Taliban haven`t made any trouble for us; they donated money to the foundation and said they did so because I was helping those who couldn`t help themselves.

Q. The foundation has accepted donations from the Taliban; does that mean that you agree with their ideology?

A. No, I do not. I also told them that I do not agree with all the violence and destruction and the effect it has on people`s lives. To that, they said they were not behind the attacks that targeted civilians and ordinary people.

Q. What is it that makes your angry?

A. I don`t get angry – it`s not in my nature. Sometimes [my wife] Bilquis and I have arguments, but that`s all.

Q. Do you think philanthropic organisations such as yours cause the state to further abscond from its civic responsibilities?

A. If the state can ensure that all who are subject to pay taxes do so, that would be a good enough start. If people were to honestly pay their taxes and also give charity, it would solve more than half of the country`s problems.

Q. In 2008, eight children were abandoned by three women at an Edhi Foundation centre. The foundation later paid the families Rs. 100,000 each to take the children back. Are pay-offs of this kind effective when the root causes for children being abandoned are not addressed?

A. Pay-offs are, of course, no solution, and we normally do not hand out money like that. Usually, we give shelter to children whose families abandon them, primarily for monetary reasons. The day people stop abandoning their children at our centres, I will believe that things are changing in Pakistan. But that does not seem to be happening. It is also quite clear that the government does not get actively involved, so I have no hope of people getting support from the state.

Q. No hope? Isn`t that a fatalistic position to take regarding the state machinery?

A. It is. But how can I have hope in a state that is being exploited by the current system – a system that is itself being manoeuvred by groups with no commitment to the people of this country. The whole political frame as it currently exists has to reinvent itself before we can even begin to hope for change in Pakistan.

Q. Have you ever been approached by political or other groups for support?

A. Once, I was approached by General Hamid Gul, Imran Khan and few others, mostly military and intelligence officials, who were conspiring to overthrow Benazir Bhutto`s second government and wanted me to get involved. I declined because I am a social worker and not a politician. I also did not want to tarnish the credibility of my organisation by getting embroiled in something that obviously seemed quite disturbing. Eventually, I was made to feel threatened enough to temporarily leave the country.

Q. How do you see the future of Pakistan?

A. I will continue to do my work and serve the people. However, Pakistan is now at a critical make-or-break stage, and if the system does not undergo a major overhaul, I am afraid that the country may even break up. Given the current conditions, it will take nothing short of a calculated, studied revolution to change things and save Pakistan.

The writer can be contacted at

Ms. Marvi Memon's view on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is seconded by the Press as well.


Dr Aafia Siddiqui�s husband breaks his silence after six years Claims most reports in the local media are false Wednesday February 18, 2009 (0605 PST) KARACHI: After six years of silence, Dr Muhammad Amjad Khan, ex-husband of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, has finally spoken up and says that most of the press reports that relate to his former wife as well as his children are false. In an exclusive talk with our sources, he said that most claims are being propagated to garner public support and sympathy for Dr Aafia but are one-sided and in most instances untrue.

Dr Aafia Siddiqui, suspected of having links to terrorist organizations, has been charged in a criminal complaint filed in a court of New York on account of attempting to kill US personnel during interrogation and on a charge of assaulting US officers and employees in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 17, 2008. Subsequently Dr Aafia was imprisoned in Bagram for 18 days before being taken to the US for a trial.

Due to pressure from Aafia Siddiqui�s family, the Pakistan government has been trying to secure her release from the US claiming her to be innocent. Although the US government has guaranteed Aafia the best legal assistance and a fair trial, her family is adamant that she be sent back on grounds that the US authorities have been consistently torturing her for years.

�Aafia�s release cannot be secured by propagating stories based on falsehood and deception,� commented Dr Amjad Khan, in an interview with our sources. Dr Amjad, who was married to Dr Aafia for seven years until their divorce in October 2002, said Aafia�s family and supporters should not believe that truth will not be revealed and mere lies will help in securing Aafia�s repatriation.

He added that he is disappointed with the government�s disregard for the law when officials handed over his eldest son, Ahmad, to his aunt Dr Fowzia Siddiqui on his return from Afghanistan last year instead of his legal guardian, his father. �The government made no effort to locate me despite the fact that I am Ahmad�s real and legal guardian. My address in Karachi has not changed for the past 30 years. Ever since I returned from the US after our divorce, I have been living with my family,� he said adding: �Both the Minister for Interior Rehman Malik and Dr Fowzia have been taking credit for obtaining Ahmad�s release even though there was not a stone I left unturned to locate my missing children and obtain their custody according to law.�

Providing documentary proof of the legal agreement between him and Dr Aafia following their divorce, Dr Amjad said that he had been financially supporting his three children Ahmed, Marium and Suleiman until the family stopped accepting the cheques he had been mailing. �After the agreement they accepted my cheques till March 2003. After that my cheques were being returned from Aafia�s home and that got me worried. Soon after I learnt that in April 2003, Aafia and our children had been �picked up� by agencies.� Meanwhile, he received disturbing reports from the family that Aafia chose to leave Karachi with her children as she feared an attack from him.

Curious to locate the whereabouts of his children, Dr Amjad sought the help of the police and government officials to find them. �I was aware of Aafia�s violent personality and extremist views and suspected her involvement in Jihadi activities. My fear later proved to be true when during Uzair Paracha�s trial in the US in 2004, the real purpose of Aafia�s trip to the US (between December 23, 2002 and January 3, 2003) was revealed.�

Elaborating, Dr Amjad disclosed that he later learnt from media reports that Aafia�s family claimed she made this trip to the US for job interviews in December at a time when universities were closed for winter holidays. �I also found it very odd that on the one hand Aafia insisted on leaving the US after September 11, 2001, claiming the country was unsafe for us and our children because the US government was abducting Muslim children, and on the other hand took the risk of travelling to that country again without fearing that she may be captured and may never see our children again.�

While Dr Aafia was in the US, the authorities had been closely watching her, added Amjad. They soon issued the first global �wanted for questioning� alert for the couple in March 2003. �At that time, the agencies did not know we were divorced and I was also unaware of Aafia�s involvement with two other terror suspects, Majid Khan and Ammar Al-Baluchi. They wanted me to persuade Aafia to appear for the interview with them and clear the charges leveled against her just as I had done. That is when she went underground and it later became apparent why she chose to �disappear�,� disclosed Dr Amjad.

Sharing details of his unsuccessful marriage with Dr Aafia, Dr Amjad told our sources that since their marriage was arranged, he was unaware of Aafia�s violent behaviour. �She got hysterical fits when she became angry and would physically attack me, but I put up with it for the sake of our children.�

Although Amjad and Aafia both were inclined towards religion, he found her opinion towards Jihad to be of an extreme nature that sometimes made him uncomfortable. He became particularly suspicious of his wife�s intentions when soon after the 9/11 attacks, she compelled Amjad to leave Boston (where Amjad was completing his residency) and move to Afghanistan where she claimed �he would be more useful�.

The couple, however, chose to come to Pakistan instead for a vacation and discuss the matter with Amjad�s family. It was here that his parents noticed Aafia�s violent behaviour towards their son on several occasions, particularly when she openly asked for khula (divorce) when Amjad declined to go to Afghanistan. Therefore Amjad decided to file for a divorce as Aafia was adamant she wanted to go. �I tried my best to save our marriage, but divorce was inevitable,� he recalls.

However, after mutual consent, the couple signed a legal agreement whereby the custody of the three minors was given to Aafia, while Amjad was required to pay for their education and maintenance. �Although the agreement says I am permitted to meet my children once a week, I was not allowed to do so,� claimed Amjad sharing a copy of the agreement during the interview.

Based on his past experience, Amjad says he had reason to worry about his children. �I feared Aafia might pursue her political ambitions to the detriment of our children�s welfare so I couldn�t help following her case after her family claimed she had been abducted.� Amjad added that he was tempted to use other means to try and rescue his children in these past five years especially since he had evidence that were missing or kidnapped, he claimed. �But I chose to be patient and pursued the case according to the law.� He also filed a case in court against Aafia to obtain the custody of his children.

�When the Court was unsuccessful, I requested the HRCP to include my children�s names in their missing persons petition in the Supreme Court and also appealed to the Chief Justice for Suo Moto action as this was the only case where three minors were involved.�

However, after Ahmad was released and handed over to Dr Fowzia last year, Dr Amjad requested her to allow him to visit his son, but she refused. �At first she said Ahmed was mentally unfit to talk, and then claimed that he was not my son but an orphan adopted by Aafia and US reports that his DNA matched Aafia�s were also �cooked�. I refused to accept any of that as I had identified my son as soon as I saw a report on the electronic media of his arrest in Afghanistan.�

When questioned on what basis was Aafia�s family�denying a meeting with his son, Amjad stated that the family is punishing him for divorcing Aafia. �Aafia�s mother and Dr Fowzia had warned me at the time of our divorce that they would take revenge�by not letting me meet the children,� he said adding �But now they are discouraging a meeting with Ahmad because they fear Ahmad will reveal the truth about Aafia�s activities and whereabouts of his siblings over these years.�

He added that Dr Fowzia had similarly threatened him several years ago by taking a picture of Aafia while she was asleep after she injured her upper lip (by a milk bottle)�in an accident. Dr Fowzia warned Amjad that if he tried to divorce Aafia, she would use the picture against him alleging him to be an abusive husband. �It was made to appear in the picture that Aafia was badly injured. Today, the same picture is being circulated in the media to claim that Aafia was tortured for years in Bagram,� he revealed.�

Furthermore, Amjad listed the several allegations leveled against him over the years to justify his not meeting his children: First they accused him of kidnapping his three children soon after his divorce with Aafia. To deny this accusation, he lodged a complaint against the family with the Sindh Police and requested officials to help him locate his children, but to no avail.

Later, Aafia�s family accused him of being an abusive husband and father preventing the children from meeting their father. �Aafia�s mother has also accused me in the media of changing the children�s names whereas in reality they had resorted to these tactics to conceal the children.�

He alleged that Dr Fowzia also used the Asian Human Rights Commission, an NGO based in Honk Kong, to mislead the government about his two missing children. �The AHRC received the information about my two missing children being in an orphanage in Afghanistan from Dr Fowzia, who was diverting attention away from the place where the children really are.� claimed Amjad.

Earlier, when Aafia�s father died, the family held Amjad responsible for his death too claiming he suffered a stroke after he saw the divorce document. �That is simply not true because I mailed the document two days after Aafia�s father died and that too because I was unaware of the unfortunate incident. Their family never kept me posted on anything in the six-week period between our verbal and written divorce. I was just as shocked at his death.�

Moreover, the family alleged that Aafia was in trouble and had been kidnapped because her former husband (Dr Amjad) handed over her personal diary to the FBI. �After this, false reports about Aafia�s arrest and Pakistani government�s involvement in handing her over to the US despite repeated denials by the Minister of Interior and other officials, started making headlines� claims the doctor, who has now re-married.

It is the whereabouts of his two children � Marium now aged 10, and six-year-old Suleiman � that worries him now, said Amjad. Like the coordinates of Dr Aafia Siddiqui remained a mystery after she was allegedly �picked up� in March 2003, Dr Amjad believes Aafia�s family may be using the same tactics in the case of his two children, who are reportedly �missing�.

�I am sure they are around Karachi and in contact with their maternal family as both Aafia and the children were seen around their house here and in Islamabad on multiple occasions since their alleged disappearance in 2003. They may be living under an assumed identity just like Aafia and Ahmed had been living [as Saliha and Ali Ahsan] for five years before they got arrested,� believes the father. He said Dr Fowzia�s claim that the children are missing after being removed from the Bagram prison in Afghanistan �may be an attempt to attract sympathy of the government and the people and distract its attention from the real location.�

The mystery of Dr Aafia Siddiqui Declan Walsh The Guardian, Tuesday 24 November 2009

On a hot summer morning 18 months ago a team of four Americans – two FBI agents and two army officers – rolled into Ghazni, a dusty town 50 miles south of Kabul. They had come to interview two unusual prisoners: a woman in a burka and her 11-year-old son, arrested the day before.

Afghan police accused the mysterious pair of being suicide bombers. What interested the Americans, though, was what they were carrying: notes about a “mass casualty attack” in the US on targets including the Statue of Liberty and a collection of jars and bottles containing “chemical and gel substances”.

At the town police station the Americans were directed into a room where, unknown to them, the woman was waiting behind a long yellow curtain. One soldier sat down, laying his M-4 rifle by his foot, next to the curtain. Moments later it twitched back.

The woman was standing there, pointing the officer’s gun at his head. A translator lunged at her, but too late. She fired twice, shouting “Get the fuck out of here!” and “Allahu Akbar!” Nobody was hit. As the translator wrestled with the woman, the second soldier drew his pistol and fired, hitting her in the abdomen. She went down, still kicking and shouting that she wanted “to kill Americans”. Then she passed out.

Whether this extraordinary scene is fiction or reality will soon be decided thousands of miles from Ghazni in a Manhattan courtroom. The woman is Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist and mother of three. The description of the shooting, in July 2008, comes from the prosecution case, which Siddiqui disputes. What isn’t in doubt is that there was an incident, and that she was shot, after which she was helicoptered to Bagram air field where medics cut her open from breastplate to bellybutton, searching for bullets. Medical records show she barely survived. Seventeen days later, still recovering, she was bundled on to an FBI jet and flown to New York where she now faces seven counts of assault and attempted murder. If convicted, the maximum sentence is life in prison.

The prosecution is but the latest twist in one of the most intriguing episodes of America’s “war on terror”. At its heart is the MIT-educated Siddiqui, once declared the world’s most wanted woman. In 2003 she mysteriously vanished for five years, during which time she was variously dubbed the “Mata Hari of al-Qaida” or the “Grey Lady of Bagram”, an iconic victim of American brutality.

Yet only the narrow circumstances of her capture – did she open fire on the US soldier? – are at issue in the New York court case. Fragile-looking, and often clad in a dark robe and white headscarf, Siddiqui initially pleaded not guilty, insisting she never touched the soldier’s gun. Her lawyers say the prosecution’s dramatic version of the shooting is untrue. Now, after months of pre-trial hearings, she appears bent on scuppering the entire process.

During a typically stormy hearing last Thursday, Siddiqui interrupted the judge, rebuked her own lawyers and made strident appeals to the packed courthouse. “I am boycotting this trial,” she declared. “I am innocent of all the charges and I can prove it, but I will not do it in this court.” Previously she had tried to fire her lawyers due to their Jewish background (she once wrote to the court that Jews are “cruel, ungrateful, back-stabbing” people) and demanded to speak with President Obama for the purpose of “making peace” with the Taliban. This time, though, she was ejected from the courtroom for obstruction. “Take me out. I’m not coming back,” she said defiantly.

The trial, due to start in January, is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. It is a tale of spies and militants, disappearance and deception, which has played out in the shadowlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan since 2001. In search of answers I criss-crossed Pakistan, tracking down Siddiqui’s relatives, retired ministers, shadowy spy types and pamphleteers. The truth was maddeningly elusive. But it all started in Karachi, the sprawling port city on the Arabian Sea where Siddiqui was born 37 years ago.

Her parents were Pakistani strivers – middle-class folk with strong faith in Islam and education. Her father, Mohammad, was an English-trained doctor; her mother, Ismet, befriended the dictator General Zia ul-Haq. Aafia was a smart teenager, and in 1990 followed her older brother to the US. Impressive grades won her admission to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, later, Brandeis University, where she graduated in cognitive neuroscience. In 1995 she married a young Karachi doctor, Amjad Khan; a year later their first child, Ahmed, was born.

Siddiqui was also an impassioned Muslim activist. In Boston she campaigned for Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya; she was particularly affected by graphic videos of pregnant Bosnian women being killed. She wrote emails, held fundraisers and made forceful speeches at her local mosque. But the charities she worked with had sharp edges. The Nairobi branch of one, Mercy International Relief Agency, was linked to the 1998 US embassy bombings in east Africa; three other charities were later banned in the US for their links to al-Qaida.

The September 11 2001 attacks marked a turning point in Siddiqui’s life. In May 2002 the FBI questioned her and her husband about some unusual internet purchases they had made: about $10,000 worth of night-vision goggles, body armour and 45 military-style books including The Anarchist’s Arsenal. (Khan said he bought the equipment for hunting and camping expeditions.) Their marriage started to crumble. A few months later the couple returned to Pakistan and divorced that August, two weeks before the birth of their third child, Suleman.

On Christmas Day 2002 Siddiqui left her three children with her mother in Pakistan and returned to the US, ostensibly to apply for academic jobs. During the 10-day trip, however, Siddiqui did something controversial: she opened a post box in the name of Majid Khan, an alleged al-Qaida operative accused of plotting to blow up petrol stations in the Baltimore area. The post box, prosecutors later said, was to facilitate his entry into the US.

Six months after her divorce, she married Ammar al-Baluchi, a nephew of the 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, at a small ceremony near Karachi. Siddiqui’s family denies the wedding took place, but it has been confirmed by Pakistani and US intelligence, al-Baluchi’s relatives and, according to FBI interview reports recently filed in court, Siddiqui herself. At any rate, it was a short-lived honeymoon.

Fowzia Siddiqui is the elder sister of Aafia Siddiqui. Photograph: Declan Walsh

In March 2003 the FBI issued a global alert for Siddiqui and her ex-husband, Amjad Khan. Then, a few weeks later, she vanished. According to her family, she climbed into a taxi with her three children – six-year-old Ahmed, four-year-old Mariam and six-month old Suleman – and headed for Karachi airport. They never made it. (Khan, on the other hand, was interviewed by the FBI in Pakistan, and subsequently released.)

Initially it was presumed that Siddiqui had been picked up by Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) spy agency at the behest of the CIA. The theory seemed to be confirmed by American media reports that Siddiqui’s name had been given up by Mohammed, the 9/11 instigator, who was captured three weeks earlier. (If so, Mohammed was probably speaking under duress – the CIA waterboarded him 183 times that month.)

There are several accounts of what happened next. According to the US government, Siddiqui was at large, plotting mayhem on behalf of Osama bin Laden. In May 2004 the US attorney general, John Ashcroft, listed her among the seven “most wanted” al-Qaida fugitives. “Armed and dangerous,” he said, describing the Karachi woman as a terrorist “facilitator” who was willing to use her education against America. “Al-Qaida Mom” ran the headline in the New York Post.

But Siddiqui’s family and supporters tell a different story. Instead of plotting attacks, they say, Siddiqui spent the missing five years at the dreaded Bagram detention centre, north of Kabul, where she suffered unspeakable horrors. Yvonne Ridley, the British journalist turned Muslim campaigner, insists she is the “Grey Lady of Bagram” – a ghostly female detainee who kept prisoners awake “with her haunting sobs and piercing screams”. In 2005 male prisoners were so agitated by her plight, she says, that they went on hunger strike for six days.

For campaigners such as Ridley, Siddiqui has become emblematic of dark American practices such as abduction, rendition and torture. “Aafia has iconic status in the Muslim world. People are angry with American imperialism and domination,” she told me.

But every major security agency of the US government – army, FBI, CIA – denies having held her. Last year the US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, went even further. She stated that Siddiqui was not in US custody “at any time” prior to July 2008. Her language was unusually categoric.

To reconcile these accounts I flew to Siddiqui’s hometown of Karachi. The family lives in a spacious house with bougainvillea-draped walls in Gulshan Iqbal, a smart middle-class neighbourhood. Inside I took breakfast with her sister, Fowzia, on a patio overlooking a toy-strewn garden.

As servants brought piles of paratha (fried bread), Fowzia produced photos of a smiling young woman whom she described as the victim of an international conspiracy. The US had been abusing her sister in Bagram, she said, then produced her for trial as part of a gruesome justice pageant. “As far as I’m concerned this trial [in New York] is just a great drama. They write the script as they go. I’ve stopped asking questions,” she said resignedly.

But Fowzia, a Harvard-educated neurologist, was frustratingly short on hard information. She responded to questions about Aafia’s whereabouts between 2003 and 2008 with cryptic cliches. “It’s not that we don’t know. It’s that we don’t want to know,” she said. And she blamed reports of al-Qaida links on a malevolent American press. “Half of them work for the CIA,” she said.

The odd thing, though, was that the person who might unlock the entire mystery was living in the same house. After being captured with his mother in Ghazni last year, 11-year-old Ahmed Siddiqui was flown back to Pakistan on orders from the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. Since then he has been living with his aunt Fowzia. Yet she has forbidden him from speaking with the press – even with Yvonne Ridley – because, she told me, he was too traumatised.

“You tell him to do something but he just stands there, staring at the TV,” she said, sighing heavily. But surely, I insisted, after 15 months at home the boy must have divulged some clue about the missing years?
Fowzia’s tone hardened. “Ahmed’s not allowed to speak to the press. That was part of the deal when they gave him to us,” she said firmly.

“Who are they?” I asked.

She waved a finger in the air. “The network. Those who brought him here.”

Moments later Fowzia excused herself. The interview was over. As she walked me to the gate, I was struck by another omission: Fowzia had barely mentioned Ahmed’s 11-year-old sister, Mariam, or his seven-year-old brother, Suleman, who are still missing. Amid the hullabaloo about their imprisoned mother, Aafia’s children seemed to be strangely forgotten.

That night I went to see Siddiqui’s ex-husband, Amjad Khan. He ushered me through a deathly quiet house into an upstairs room where we sat cross-legged on the floor. He had a soft face under the curly beard that is worn by devout Muslims. I recounted what Fowzia told me. He sighed and shook his head. “It’s all a smokescreen,” he said. “She’s trying to divert your attention.”

The truth of the matter, he said, was that Siddiqui had never been sent to Bagram. Instead she spent the five years on the run, living clandestinely with her three children, under the watchful eye of Pakistani intelligence. He told me they shifted between Quetta in Baluchistan province, Iran and the Karachi house I had visited earlier that day. It was a striking explanation. When I asked for proof, he started at the beginning.

Their parents, who arranged the marriage, thought them a perfect match. The couple had a lot in common – education, wealth and a love for conservative Islam. They were married over the phone; soon after Khan moved to America. But his new wife was a more fiery character than he wished. “She was so pumped up about jihad,” he said.

Six months into the marriage, Siddiqui demanded the newlyweds move to Bosnia. Khan refused, and grew annoyed at her devotion to activist causes. During a furious argument one night, he told me, he flung a milk bottle at his wife that split her lip.

After 9/11 Aafia insisted on returning to Pakistan, telling her husband that the US government was forcibly converting Muslim children to Christianity. Later that winter she pressed him to go on “jihad” to Afghanistan, where she had arranged for them to work in a hospital in Zabul province. Khan refused, sparking a vicious row. “She went hysterical, beating her hands on my chest, asking for divorce,” he recalled.

After Siddiqui disappeared in March 2003, Khan started to worry for his children – he had never seen his youngest son, Suleman. But he was reassured that they were still in Pakistan through three sources. He hired people to watch her house and they reported her comings and goings. His family was also briefed by ISI officials who said they were following her movements, he said. (Khan named an ISI brigadier whom I later contacted; he declined to speak).

Most strikingly, Khan claimed to have seen his ex-wife with his own eyes. In April 2003, he said, the ISI asked him to identify his ex-wife as she got off a flight from Islamabad, accompanied by her son. Two years later he spotted her again in a Karachi traffic jam. But he never went public with the information. “I wanted to protect her, for the sake of my children,” he said.

Shams ul-Hassan Faruqi, a geologist and uncle of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, at his home in Islamabad, Pakistan Photograph: Declan Walsh

Khan’s version of events has enraged his ex-wife’s family. Fowzia has launched a 500m rupees (£360,000) defamation law suit, while regularly attacking him in the press as a wifebeater set on “destroying” her family. “Marrying him was Aafia’s biggest mistake,” she told me. Khan says it is a ploy to silence him in the media and take away his children.

Khan’s explanation is bolstered by the one person who claims to have met the missing neuroscientist between 2003 and 2008 – her uncle, Shams ul-Hassan Faruqi. Back in Islamabad, I went to see him.
A sprightly old geologist, Faruqi works from a cramped office filled with coloured rocks and dusty computers. Over tea and biscuits he described a strange encounter with his niece in January 2008, six months before she was captured in Afghanistan.

It started, he said, when a white car carrying a burka-clad woman pulled up outside his gate. Beckoning him to approach, he recognised her by her voice. “Uncle, I am Aafia,” he recalled her saying. But she refused to leave the car and insisted they move to the nearby Taj Mahal restaurant to talk. Amid whispers, her story tumbled out.

Siddiqui told him she had been in both Pakistani and American captivity since 2003, but was vague on the details. “I was in the cells but I don’t know in which country, or which city. They kept shifting me,” she said. Now she had been set free but remained under the thumb of intelligence officials based in Lahore. They had given her a mission: to infiltrate al-Qaida in Pakistan. But, Siddiqui told her uncle, she was afraid and wanted out. She begged him to smuggle her into Afghanistan into the hands of the Taliban. “That was her main point,” he recalled. “She said: ‘I will be safe with the Taliban.’”

That night, Siddiqui slept at a nearby guesthouse, and stayed with her uncle the next day. But she refused to remove her burka. Faruqi said he caught a glimpse of her just once, while eating, and thought her nose had been altered. “I asked her, ‘Who did plastic surgery on your face?’ She said, ‘nobody’.”

On the third day, Siddiqui vanished again.

Amid the blizzard of allegations about Siddiqui, the most crucial voice is yet to be heard – her own. The trial, due to start in January, has suffered numerous delays. The longest was due to a six-month psychiatric evaluation triggered by defence claims that Siddiqui was “going crazy” – prone to crying fits and hallucinations involving flying infants, dark angels and a dog in her cell. “She’s in total psychic pain,” said her lawyer, Dawn Cardi, claiming that she was unfit to stand trial.

But at the Texas medical centre where the tests took place, Siddiqui refused to co-operate. “I can’t hear you. I’m not listening,” she told one doctor, sitting on the floor with her fingers in her ears. Others reported that she refused to speak with Jews, that she manipulated health workers and perceived herself to “be a martyr rather than a prisoner”. Last July three of four experts determined she was malingering – faking a psychiatric illness to avoid an undesirable outcome. “She is an intelligent and at times manipulative woman who showed goal-directed and rational thinking,” reported Dr Sally Johnson.

Judge Richard Berman ruled that Siddiqui “may have some mental health issues” but was competent to stand trial.

Back in Pakistan Siddiqui has become a cause celebre. Newspapers write unquestioningly about her “torture”, parliament has passed resolutions, placard-waving demonstrators pound the streets and the government is spending $2m on a top-flight defence. High-profile supporters include the former cricketer Imran Khan and the Taliban leader Hakumullah Mehsud who has affectionately described Siddiqui as a “sister in Islam”.

The unquestioning support is a product of public fury at US-orchestrated “disappearances”, of which there have been hundreds in Pakistan, and deep scepticism about the American account of her capture. Few Pakistanis believe a frail 5ft 3in, 40kg woman could disarm an American soldier; fewer still think she would be carrying bomb booklets, chemicals and target lists.

But there are critics, too, albeit silent ones. A Musharraf-era minister with previous oversight of Siddiqui’s case told me it was “full of bullshit and lies”.

Two weeks ago the Obama administration introduced a fresh twist, when it announced that next year (or in 2011) five Guantanamo Bay detainees will be tried in the same New York courthouse, a few blocks from the World Trade Centre. One of them is Siddiqui’s second husband, Ammar al-Baluchi, also known as Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, who stands accused of financing the 9/11 attacks.

But while the Guantanamo detainees will be tried for their part in mass terrorism, Siddiqui’s case focuses on a minor controversy – whether she fired a gun at a soldier in an Afghan police station. And so the big questions may not be probed: whether the ISI or CIA abducted Siddiqui in 2003, what she did afterwards, and where her two missing children are now. In fact the framing of the charges raises a new question: if Siddiqui was such a dangerous terrorist five years ago, why is she not being charged as one now? A senior Pakistani official, speaking on condition of strict anonymity, offered a tantalising explanation.

In the world of counter-espionage, he said, someone like Siddiqui is an invaluable asset. And so, he speculated, sometime over the last five years she may have been “flipped” – turned against militant sympathisers – by Pakistani or American intelligence. “It’s a very murky world,” he said.

“Maybe the Americans have no charges against her. Maybe they don’t want to compromise their sources of information. Or maybe they don’t want to put that person out in the world again. The thing is, you’ll never really know.”

عافیہ نے جہاد کرنے پر زور ڈالا‘ احمد رضا
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، کراچی
وقتِ اشاعت: Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, 21:32 GMT 02:32 PST
ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے مجھ پر دباؤ ڈالا کہ وہ امریکہ کے خلاف جہاد لڑنے افغانستان جائیں: امجد خان
امریکہ میں قید پاکستانی شہری ڈاکٹر عافیہ کے سابق شوہر امجد خان نے دعویٰ کیا ہے کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ کے شدت پسندوں سے تعلقات تھے اور وہ انہیں بھی مجاہد کی روپ میں دیکھنا چاہتی تھیں لیکن ان کے انکار کرنے پر طلاق لے لی۔
بی بی سی اردو سروس سے بات کرتے ہوئے انہوں نے اپنے تین بچوں کی صحت اور زندگی کے بارے میں تشویش کا اظہار کیا اور کہا کہ وہ اپنے بچے واپس لینے کے لئے عدالت کا دروازہ کھٹکھٹائیں گے۔
امجد خان نے دعویٰ کیا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ کو جہاد کا شوق تھا اور ان کے بعض پاکستانی شدت پسندوں سے رابطے بھی تھے۔
ان کے دعوے کے مطابق ان کی سابقہ اہلیہ کا دہشتگردی کے شبے میں امریکی حکام کے ہاتھوں گرفتار ہونے والے پاکستانی شہریوں عزیر پراچہ، عمار بلوچی اور ماجد خان کے ساتھ رابطہ تھا۔ انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ عزیر پراچہ کو امریکی عدالت القاعدہ کو مالی اور مادی امداد فراہم کرنے کے الزام میں تیس سال قید کی سزا بھی دے چکی ہے جبکہ عمار بلوچی اور ماجد خان قید میں ہیں۔
انہوں نے اس بارے میں مزید تفصیل بتانے اور اپنی تصویر کھنچوانے سے معذرت کرلی۔
ان کے بقول وہ طلاق سے پہلے ڈاکٹر عافیہ کو مسلسل یہ بات سمجھانے کی کوشش کرتے رہے کہ شدت پسندی کا اسلام سے کوئی تعلق نہیں لیکن وہ ان کی بات نہیں مانتی تھیں۔
امجد خان نے یہ بھی دعویٰ کیا کہ گیارہ ستمبر دو ہزار ایک کو امریکہ پر ہوئے حملوں کے بعد ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے ان پر یہ دباؤ بھی ڈالا کہ وہ امریکہ کے خلاف جہاد لڑنے افغانستان جائیں لیکن وہ اس پر تیار نہیں ہوئے۔
انہوں نے بتایا کہ انہوں نے جون دو ہزار دو میں ڈاکٹر عافیہ کی رہنمائی کے لئے کراچی کے ایک بڑے دینی مدرسے کے مفتی رفیع عثمانی کو لائے اور مفتی رفیع عثمانی کا کہنا تھا کہ ان دونوں پر جہاد فرض نہیں ہے لیکن عافیہ نے ان کی یہ بات تسلیم نہیں کی اور کچھ ہفتے بعد طلاق لے لی۔
امجد خان نے اس تاثر کو غلط قرار دیا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ اور ان کے تینوں بچے احمد، مریم اور سلیمان سال دو ہزار تین میں کراچی سے خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے اہلکاروں نے حراست میں لیے تھے۔ ان کے مطابق معاملہ اسکے برعکس ہے۔
ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے خود کو بچانے کے لئے افغانستان جانے سے پہلے اپنی پلاسٹک سرجری کرا کے چہرہ بدل لیا تھا اور وہ وہاں صالحہ کے نام سے مقیم تھیں۔ عافیہ کے اہل خانہ مجھے میرے بیٹے احمد سے ملنے نہیں دے رہے ہیں جبکہ دوسرے دو بچوں کی زندگیوں کے بارے میں بھی میں فکرمند ہوں اور نہیں معلوم کہ وہ کہاں ہیں۔
امجد خان
پچھلے سال افغانستان کے حکام کی جانب سے ڈاکٹر عافیہ کی بہن ڈاکٹر فوزیہ کے حوالے کیے گئے اپنے بڑے بیٹے احمد کا تذکرہ کرتے انہوں نے کہا افغانستان کی انٹیلیجنس ایجنسی کے چیف جنرل فراحی کا بیان نیویارک ٹائمز نے شائع کیا تھا کہ احمد نے انہیں بتایا ہے کہ وہ اور ڈاکٹر عافیہ سترہ جولائی دو ہزار آٹھ کو گرفتاری سے کچھ دن پہلے ہی افغانستان پہنچے تھے۔
’ڈاکٹر عافیہ کے ماموں فاروقی صاحب جو اسلام آباد میں رہتے ہیں انہوں نے بھی ایک اخبار میں اپنے ایک مضمون میں یہ بات بتائی ہے کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ ان سے جنوری دو ہزار آٹھ میں اسلام آباد میں ملیں اور تین دن ان کے گھر رہیں۔ اس دوران انہوں نے اس خواہش کا بھی اظہار کیا کہ وہ افغانستان جانا چاہتی ہیں۔ اس سے تو یہی ظاہر ہوتا ہے کہ وہ پاکستان میں تھیں اور آزاد تھیں۔‘
امجد خان کا کہنا ہے کہ عافیہ نے طلاق کے بعد ان کے ساتھ ہوئے اس تحریری معاہدے کی پاسداری نہیں کی جس میں طے پایا تھا کہ انہیں اپنے بچوں کی کفالت اور وقتاً فوقتاً ملنے کی اجازت ہوگی۔ ان کا دعویٰ ہے کہ عافیہ 2003ء میں بچوں سمیت جان بوجھ کرغائب ہوگئی تھیں تاکہ خود کو امریکی حکام کے ہاتھوں گرفتاری سے بچا سکیں۔
’مارچ 2003ء میں جب ایف بی آئی نے ہم دونوں کے مطلوب ہونے کا الرٹ بھیجا تو پاکستانی ایجنسیوں نے مجھ سے رابطہ کیا اور کہا کہ آپ اور ڈاکٹر عافیہ جو بھی بات ہے صاف صاف بتادیں اور اپنے آپ کو کلیئر کروالیں۔‘
عافیہ کے اہل خانہ مجھے میرے بیٹے احمد سے ملنے نہیں دے رہے ہیں
انہوں نے بتایا کہ وہ پاکستان کی خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے بعض افسران کے سامنے پیش ہوئے اور ان کے پاس جو بھی معلومات تھیں وہ انہیں دیں جس کے بعد انہیں جانے دیا گیا۔ لیکن عافیہ پیش ہونے کے بجائے بچوں سمیت غائب ہوگئیں۔
’ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے خود کو بچانے کے لئے افغانستان جانے سے پہلے اپنی پلاسٹک سرجری کرا کے چہرہ بدل لیا تھا اور وہ وہاں صالحہ کے نام سے مقیم تھیں۔ عافیہ کے اہل خانہ مجھے میرے بیٹے احمد سے ملنے نہیں دے رہے ہیں جبکہ دوسرے دو بچوں کی زندگیوں کے بارے میں بھی میں فکرمند ہوں اور نہیں معلوم کہ وہ کہاں ہیں۔‘
انہوں نے کہا کہ اپنے بچوں کو واپس تحویل میں لینے کے لئے انہوں نے عافیہ کے منظر عام سے غائب ہونے کے بعد 2003ء میں کراچی کی عدالت میں مقدمہ داخل کیا تھا۔ اس مقدمے کی سماعت کے دوران ڈاکٹر عافیہ کی والدہ نے یہ حلفیہ بیان دیا تھا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ اور ان کے بچے ایف بی آئی کی تحویل میں ہیں اور خیریت سے ہیں۔
ان کے بقول اسکے بعد عدالت نے مقدمہ خارج کردیا تھا۔ امجد خان نے کہا کہ وہ اپنے بیٹے احمد اور دیگر دو لاپتہ بچوں کی بازیابی کے لئے جلد ہی عدالت کا دروازہ کھٹکھٹائیں گے۔

Profile: Al-Qaeda ‘kingpin’ Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who faces charges in connection with the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, is regarded as one of the most senior operatives in Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network. The Pentagon says he has admitted to being responsible “from A to Z” for the attacks in New York and Washington. At a hearing to determine whether he was an “enemy combatant” who should remain in detention at Guantanamo Bay, he also reportedly said he had personally decapitated kidnapped US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 and admitted to a role in 30 plots.

He was captured in Pakistan in March 2003 and sent to the US detention centre in Cuba in 2006. He was indicted in 1996 with plotting to blow up 11 or 12 American airliners flying from south-east Asia to the United States in January, 1995. According to the transcripts released, the self-proclaimed head of al-Qaeda’s military committee admitted to:

The organisation, planning, follow-up and execution of the 9/11 operation

Responsibility for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the bombing of nightclubs in Bali in 2002 and a Kenyan hotel in the same year

Responsibility for the failed attempt by the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, to bring down an American plane

Plots to attack Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf and Big Ben in London, to hit targets in Israel, and to blow up the Panama Canal

A plot to hit towers in the US cities of Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and the Empire State Building in New York, and to attack US nuclear power stations

Plots to assassinate the late Pope John Paul II and former US President Bill Clinton

He said he had used his own “blessed right hand” to behead Daniel Pearl, according to Pentagon papers.

US university

Mr Mohammed was due to face a military trial at Guantanamo Bay, along with four other suspects in the case. But he is now expected to be moved to New York for a civilian trial in a federal court. Terror mastermind captured How al-Qaeda ‘chief’ caught

Official documents have shown that he was subjected to waterboarding – or simulated drowning – 183 times in 2003, before this interrogation technique was banned. Correspondents say the issue of admissibility of evidence may arise during a civilian trial. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is believed to have been born in either 1964 or 1965 in Kuwait into a family originally from the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan. He is said to be fluent in Arabic, English, Urdu and Baluchi. He graduated in 1986 from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the US. In the late 1980s he moved to Pakistan’s north-western city of Peshawar, where he became acquainted with Bin Laden.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed first achieved notoriety with the discovery of the plot to blow up US airliners over the Pacific in 1995 – known as Operation Bojinka. The plan was reportedly foiled when police found incriminating computer files during their investigation into a separate plot to assassinate the Pope.

11 September

After the 2001 attacks on Washington and New York which killed more than 3,000 people, US officials raised the reward on his head. They believe the Kuwaiti co-ordinated the attacks and transferred money that was used to pay for the hijackings. Mr Mohammed is the uncle of Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in 1997 of bombing the World Trade Center four years earlier. The Kuwaiti militant’s arrest marked one of the most important breakthroughs in the fight against al-Qaeda. Terrorism and al-Qaeda expert Rohan Gunaratna described him as a “highly experienced organiser of terrorist attacks across international borders, one of an elite group capable of such events”. It is not just the Americans and the Pakistanis who wanted information from him. The French magistrate Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere issued an arrest warrant for him in connection with a suicide bomb attack on a synagogue in the Tunisian resort island of Djerba in 2002.

And the Australians have been interested, because of their investigation into the Bali bombing in 2002 in which 202 people died. At a pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo Bay in December 2008, Mr Mohammed said he wanted to plead guilty to all charges against him.

Terror mastermind captured – Terror mastermind captured – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is thought to be the man who masterminded the attacks on 11 September. His capture in Pakistan was seen as a key success in the US fight to counter al-Qaeda. BBC News Online presents key video reports following the arrest. Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 22:56 GMT

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