Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wiki Leaks Memo on MQM & MQM's "Confusion" over AL-QAEDA.

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has warned that a few aircrafts will come and take Pakistan’s nuclear assets away, DawnNews reported on Friday. “While Pakistan is going through a critical time our leaders are busy making foreign trips,” the MQM chief said via telephonic address to the MQM General Worker’s Meeting, simultaneously heard in 26 different cities. Altaf Hussain said that some parts of Pakistan’s army and ISI have developed cancer and the cancerous parts should be removed so the rest can be saved. He said that the government and the political leadership of the country have not guided the nation correctly. “Pakistani nation is being fooled that the nuclear assets are safeguarded. The national security agency should answer the nation in this regard,” he added. REFERENCE: Pakistan’s nuclear assets under threat, says MQM chief


US Diplomat Mr. Brian D Hunt with MQM Leader Mr. Altaf Hussain

MQM, Altaf Hussain Opposed American intervention in Pakistan.


BHIT SHAH: The government will be wiped out if it considers sending the Inter Services Intelligence director general to a US court to answer questions, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain warned in a strong-worded speech on Saturday. Hussain was referring to a controversy that has been stirred in the country after a US court in New York summoned the ISI chief to answer charges in a case related to the Mumbai attacks. The case has been filed on behalf of US citizens of Israeli-origin Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka. Director-General ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, his predecessor Nadeem Taj, Major Ali and Major Iqbal are among the summoned military officials. Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi are also on the list of people asked to appear before the US court. Addressing a large gathering at the Malakhra stadium in Bhit Shah on Saturday over telephone, Hussain condemned the summoning of the ISI chief in the strongest possible words. “Today, this gathering rejects the ISI chief’s summons and says if he is handed over to the US, the government will be wiped out from the country.” He said that if the US court was going to summon the heads of “our institutions”, then he (Altaf Hussain), too, would request “our apex court to summon the American Central Intelligence Agency’s chief and heads of other US intelligence organisations. He also demanded that the US immediately release Dr Aafia Siddiqi and send her back to Pakistan. He said that some people were warning the MQM that, if it parted ways with the government, there would be ethnic clashes and chaos in Sindh. However, he rejected these assertions and expressed confidence that the people of Sindh would forge unity and thwart all such conspiracies. He warned elements who were “always conspiring to create rifts between the people of Sindh”, and said that the Bhit Shah public meeting had proved to be the last nail in their coffin. He claimed that the MQM was the only political party that was working for protecting the interests of the people of Sindh. “Was it the MQM that vehemently opposed Kala Bagh dam or the political party that considers itself the true representative of Sindh? Was it the MQM that refused to sign the National Finance Commission unless the rights of the people of Sindh were guaranteed?” he asked, rhetorically. Hussain said that the IMF and World Bank wanted to impose new taxes on the poor people of the country, but every such move would be resisted by the party. He also spoke against injustices and oppression in the province. He said those involved in Karo Kari and killing of helpless women in the name of honour should be hanged publicly. The public meeting was also addressed by Deputy Convener MQM Dr Farooq Sattar, Member Coordination Committee Ashfaq Mangi, provincial minister Nisar Panhwar and MPA Heer Soho. Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2010. REFERENCE: Bhit Shah address: Altaf warns govt against sending ISI chief to US court Published: December 26, 2010

KARACHI: According to a US State Department cable released by WikiLeaks, Interior Minister Rehman Malik suspected that the ‘establishment’ was out to get President Asif Zardari and that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was being influenced by the US and the UK. In a meeting held on November 9, 2009, Malik claimed to then US ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson that the “MQM had repeatedly stated that both the US and the UK had urged the party to oppose the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) – a move that led the government to withdraw the legislation from parliamentary consideration and placed the future of Zardari at risk.” Malik also claimed that the MQM had said that it “had received this message during the Sindh governor’s recent trip to the US and that Altaf Hussain had been approached by the UK govt in London.” Patterson denied that the US had spoken to the Sindh governor. Malik’s motive to meet Patterson was to request that the US issue a strong statement supporting democracy in Pakistan. Patterson commented in the memo that Malik was worried that “Zardari and his inner circle of advisers had lost the support of the international community.” Malik also claimed that the ‘establishment’ was involved in working against the NRO and for Zardari’s exit. However, while the MQM had told Malik that the military was involved, the interior minister did not believe that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Kayani was ‘involved in the plotting’.

According to a leaked memo, Kayani, however, had told Patterson in March 2009 that he may have to urge Zardari to resign if conditions deteriorated. The memo also said that Kayani had hinted at ‘disquiet among his corps commanders who believe Zardari is corrupt and has not been paying enough attention to Pakistan’s economic and security challenges.’ The ambassador recounting her meeting with Malik noted that his belief that “ISI Director General (DG) Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha was unilaterally behind the push to oust Zardari” and Kayani was not involved was “either naive or intentionally misleading”. Patterson wrote that it would be “impossible for Pasha to move without Kayani’s acquiescence.” Pasha had also spoken to Patterson in early 2009 about his concerns over Zardari. Rehman Malik suggested in the meeting that the way to deal with military pressure would be for Zardari to make changes in the military hierarchy. Malik, in the memo notes, “proposed that Zardari recreate the deputy chief of army staff position and move Pasha into that position in March 2010. Zardari could then elevate Pasha to COAS in Oct 2010 on the expiration of Kayani’s term. Malik suggested that Kayani could then be made chairman of the joint staff.” However, the move did not go ahead. Kayani’s term as chief of army staff was extended this July for three more years. Pasha’s term as DG ISI was extended for a year in March 2010.

The interior minister also believed that Saudi Arabia was ‘working to unseat Zardari’. Saudi Arabia’s dislike of Zardari has been documented in several cables by WikiLeaks revealing several reasons – Saudi Arabia feared a ‘Shia triangle’ in the region and Zardari’s relationship with Iran. Malik also claimed the MQM was meeting with the PML – N and Sharif was “pressuring CJ [of Pakistan (CJP)] Iftikhar [Muhammad] Chaudhry to disqualify Zardari.” Malik also said that the NRO expiry would not affect Zardari, and that the CJP would not revoke Zardari’s presidential immunity. Malik claimed that if the CJP did so, “the interior minister can instruct prosecutors to dismiss charges in any court case.” Patterson noted, “Malik’s views on Zardari’s legal troubles presuppose that CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry will be bound by normal interpretations of the law and precedent. Such an assumption ignores Chaudhry’s penchant for ignoring both in recent rulings and his personal animosity towards Zardari.” Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2010. REFERENCE: WikiLeaks episode III: ‘Britain, US pressing MQM to oppose NRO’ By Saba Imtiaz Published: December 4, 2010

Dr Aafia Siddiqui Rally - Address of MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain Part 1


KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Chief Altaf Hussain has appealed to the people of Pakistan, particularly the leaders, NGOs, and human rights bodies to unite against the sentence given to Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Altaf appealed all to join MQM in its rally to show solidarity that the whole of the country is united against sentence awarded to an innocent Pakistani woman, said a statement issued by MQM here on Monday. Altaf Hussain deplored the 86-year imprisonment awarded to the daughter of the nation, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. He said that the MQM would take out a peaceful protest rally to demonstrate to the world that the Pakistani nation stands united against this verdict of a US court. He appealed to MQM office-bearers, workers, parliamentarians, women, students, labourers and people from different walks of life to participate in this rally in large number and make it a success. The MQM Chief made it clear that the rally was not for the purpose of serving party interest, but it was against the conviction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. All parties must not be deterred to participate by the fact that MQM was taking out this rally, but they should consider this as the issue of self-esteem of the nation, Altaf added. He said that it was the need of the hour to set aside party lines and ideological differences and unite against the verdict of the US court and take full part in the rally. Altaf Hussain made an appeal to each Pakistani to show the world that we stand united against this sentence in the case. The MQM Chief appealed to the MQM office-bearers in Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan to take out peaceful rallies to express solidarity with Dr Afia Siddiqui. REFERENCE: People asked to join MQM's rally for Dr. Afia  Updated at: 2311 PST, Monday, September 27, 2010



1/29/2008 13:36
Embassy Islamabad
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2018



Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)

1. (C) Summary. The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) based in Karachi appears to be transforming itself from a group of thugs to a service-based grass-roots political party. Expecting to win 20-25 seats in the upcoming National Assembly elections, MQM also sees itself as a potential kingmaker in formation of the next government. MQM wants some respect from the USG for its political development, secularism, and continued support for our policies. End Summary

2. (U) Ambassador, Consul General and Polcouns met January 25 with Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) mayor Mustafa Kamal and hosted MQM leaders Farooq Sattar and Haider Abbas Rizvi for dinner. Ambassador also met in Karachi with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Zardari (Ref A), the American Business Council, Farooq Hassan, Chief Executive of the Management Association of Pakistan, and former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Munir Malik (septel). REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today


Former US Ambassador to Pakistan Ms. Anne W Peterson with MQM Leaders 

 Dr Aafia Siddiqui Rally - Address of MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain Part 2


The chief of Muttahida Qaumi Movement(MQM), Altaf Hussain, has demanded of the American Government to withdraw the sentence of Dr. Afia Siddiqui and that she be set free.
In a statement issued from the MQM International Secretariat on Thursday, he criticised the sentence and said that this would lead to what he called more hatred against America among the Pakistani people. Altaf Hussain sympathised with the mother of Dr. Afia Siddiqui, Begum Asmat Siddiqui, and sister, Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui, as well other members of the family. REFERENCE: MQM chief calls for withdrawing Dr. Afia’s sentence KARACHI - 24th September 2010 By APP


Young, Activist Mayor


3. (C) At age 36, Mustafa Kamal is a young mayor overseeing an ethnically diverse population of over 16 million people in a city with enormous infrastructure challenges (see also Ref B). Kamal proudly recounted his rise from modest middle-class roots through the MQM party structure. Upon election, he was told by MQM leader Altaf Hussain that he must be the mayor for “all of Karachi, not just for MQM supporters.” Kamal seems to have taken this advice to heart by providing basic water and sewer services to neighborhoods of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and others who have long been neglected by their own parties’ leadership. Kamal boasted that Karachi now provides 68% of all GOP tax revenues.

4. (C) Kamal replaced the traditional revenue maker of a land selloff for the elite with new public-private partnerships that lease land to those willing to develop it to expand the city’s tax base. He collected taxes dating back forty years by publishing the names of tax evaders, although he lamented that he had to give the revenue to the federal government before he received his share of collections. He pushed through development of new highways and overpasses to ease traffic congestion and razed houses that encroached on city property to expand public parks.

5. (C) Ambassador asked why Karachi had such a bad reputation despite infrastructure progress. Kamal said the PPP under Benazir Bhutto had embarked in the 1990’s on a series of extra-judicial killings that exacerbated ethnic tensions in the city. MQM’s popularity grew as the population increasingly wanted law and order and protection from violence. He claimed MQM’s disciplined party organization and its practice of delivering services without discrimination was responsible for its growing electoral base. But the bad memories persist. REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today


US Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Cameron Phelps Munter with MQM Leaders

 Dr Aafia Siddiqui Rally - Address of MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain Part 3

Who is Dr. Aafia Siddiqui?

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. End. REFERENCES: 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) (Note: This story had also appeared in The News International but removed from web) The mystery of Dr Aafia Siddiqui Declan Walsh The Guardian, Tuesday 24 November 2009

’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

City Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal giving lecture to the students of Harvard University



Don’t Ignore Us


6. (C) Kamal noted that during the difficult 1990’s, the U.S. never condemned the on-going human rights violations in Karachi. Ambassador said that there had been a perception that MQM was more of a criminal group than a political party, but that we had taken note of MQM’s efforts to improve its image and its activities. Saying that the MQM was now popular and had an expanding power base, Kamal urged that the U.S. “stop ignoring us.”

7. (C) Sattar and Rizvi repeated that same ‘please don’t ignore us’ theme during dinner at the Consul General’s residence. They pointed out that MQM was avowedly secular and had repeatedly supported USG policy but was treated like a terrorist group. In fact, Sattar asked for USG assistance in convincing the Canadian immigration service to stop listing the MQM as a terrorist organization; Ambassador responded that we knew that the Canadian policy was affecting some asylum cases in the U.S. We would examine what might be possible on outreach to Ottowa on this question.

Post-Election Coalition

8. (C) Sattar both defended Musharraf and complained about the Pakistan Muslim League’s (PML) continued dependence on feudal politics that the MQM has abandoned. He noted that MQM had supported Benazir’s return, and Altaf Hussain was one of the first to offer Zardari condolences on her assassination. Still, he made it clear that MQM could work with either a PML- or PPP-led coalition government after the elections. He predicted that MQM would win 20-25 seats in Karachi, but agreed that plans to expand the party’s base had been undercut by blame over the May 12 riots. Sattar admitted it was perhaps not wise to have organized a countervailing demonstration to the one organized for the former Chief Justice. But he argued (unconvincingly) that the decision not to intervene and stop the rioting would have caused additional violence. Sattar pointed out that 14 MQM party members had died in the violence that left approximately 40 dead. REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today


 Dr Aafia Siddiqui Rally - Address of MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain Part 4


An American-educated neuroscientist who is the only woman accused of working for al-Qaeda’s top leadership appeared in court in New York last night after her capture in Afghanistan. The US Government alleges that Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani mother of three with a biology degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in behavioural neuroscience from Brandeis University, near Boston, is married to the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who claims to have organised the September 11 terror attacks in 2001. She is charged with attempted murder and assault for allegedly trying to kill an American interrogator in a gun battle after she was arrested outside an Afghan government compound with a handbag full of chemicals and information on chemical, biological and radiological weapons, as well as descriptions of “various landmarks” in the United States. Her trial should shed light on the mystery surrounding her disappearance with her children from the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2003. Her family claimed that she was abducted and imprisoned in a secret US detention centre. Six human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have listed her as a possible “secret detainee”.

“What a mockery that after five years in detention Aafia is suddenly discovered in Afghanistan,” her younger sister, Fauzia Siddiqui, a doctor, told a news conference in Karachi yesterday. “Aafia was tortured for five years until one day US authorities announce that they have found her in Afghanistan, which shows how they abused their power and tortured an innocent woman without committing any crime.” US officials insisted that they had no knowledge of her whereabouts until she was arrested by Afghan police for acting suspiciously outside the governor’s compound in the central Afghan province of Ghazni on July 17. They said that Ms Siddiqui was with a teenage boy at the time. Prosecutors said that numerous documents were found in her handbag about “the creation of explosives, chemical weapons and other weapons”. Ms Siddiqui is also alleged to have had descriptions of landmarks in the US, documents about US military assets and excerpts from The Anarchist Arsenal.

Two FBI agents escorted by US soldiers interrogated her the following day. The soldiers were unaware that she was being held behind a curtain and a warrant officer put his M4 rifle on the ground. Ms Siddiqui allegedly grabbed the rifle and fired two shots at a US army captain but an interpreter pushed the gun away as she fired. As the soldiers returned fire, she was hit at least once. “The warrant officer saw and heard Siddiqui fire at least two shots as Interpreter 1 tried to wrestle the gun from her. No one was hit,” the criminal complaint says. “The warrant officer heard Siddiqui exclaim, ‘Allah akbar!’ Another interpreter heard Siddiqui yell in English, ‘Get the f*** out of here!’ as she fired the rifle.”

A slight woman, Ms Siddiqui walked gingerly into court last night with her head wrapped in a scarf. “She is shot. She is in pain. We were able to look at the dressing. You can see it’s stained and oozing,” said Elizabeth Fink, her court-appointed lawyer. Ms Siddiqui, 36, shook her head as the judge read the allegations about her trying to shoot a soldier. Her lawyer asked for the case to be dismissed. “I think its ridiculous,” Ms Fink said. “You tell me you can put down an M4 rifle right by your foot and this 90lb \ woman is behind the curtain and you do not realise until the rifle is in her hand,” she said. The US Government named Ms Siddiqui in 2004 as one of seven suspected al-Qaeda associates feared to be planning an attack. Washington said, however, that it had no information linking her to any specific terror attack and that she had not been charged with any terrorist offences. Ms Siddiqui is one of three children of Mohammed Siddiqui, a British-trained Pakistani doctor. She moved to the US from Pakistan in 1990 to live with her brother, an architect, and study. While at university she raised money for charitable Islamic causes such as widows and orphans in Bosnia.

After completing her doctoral thesis she married a Pakistani anaesthesiologist and lived in a flat in Boston that also served as the headquarters of an Islamic charity called the Institute of Islamic Research and Teaching. In 2002 the couple were questioned by the FBI after Ms Siddiqui’s husband allegedly purchased night-vision goggles and body armour on the internet. Within months the couple moved back to Pakistan but soon separated. The US alleged that Ms Siddiqui has links to at least two of the 14 high-level al-Qaeda suspects who were moved to Guantanamo in September 2006. American prosecutors said that Ms Siddiqui opened a post office box in Maryland for Majid Khan, a former Baltimore resident now being held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay. Ms Siddiqui later married Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, known as Ammar alBaluchi, a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a cousin of Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York. Ms Siddiqui faces up to 20 years in prison on each count if convicted. The judge set a bail hearing for Monday. REFERENCE: 'Al-Qaeda woman' Aafia Siddiqui' in court on attempted murder charge James Bone in New York and Zahid Hussain in Islamabad From The Times August 6, 2008

US delegation visits MQM headquarters



Altaf Hussain Returns?

9. (C) Kamal, Sattar and Rizvi all confirmed that Altaf Hussain had expressed an interest in returning to Pakistan, but this idea had been rejected by the party. They feared that another assassination attempt would be made and they would be left leaderless. Nevertheless, while leaving dinner, Sattar indicated that Hussain could, in fact, be induced to return with the right deal for inclusion in a coalition government. (Note: According to press reports, President Musharraf met with Hussain in London this week.) The National Reconciliation Ordinance signed by Musharraf to give Bhutto and others immunity from prosecution reportedly benefited many MQM members; if Musharraf extends the NRO, this may increase Hussain’s willingness to return from self-imposed exile.

10. (C) Comment: Despite some continuing evidence of thuggery, MQM is making progress in emerging as a popular grass-roots political party, and it clearly is improving city life in Karachi. As Musharraf’s visit to Hussain demonstrated, PML very much wants to keep MQM in its coalition corner. But the PPP’s Zardari (Ref A) also believes a coalition with MQM would be possible. Like some of Pakistan’s other small parties, MQM also sees itself as a possible kingmaker in forming the next coalition government. REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today



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