Friday, October 1, 2010


I am so sick of the Dr Aafia case. I refuse to read a single more so-called news item about yet another politician jumping on the shewasinnocentUSAhatesmuslims bandwagon. She probably was innocent of the crime of which she was convicted-shooting a soldier. She probably was guilty of the crime of which she wasn't convicted-supporting Al-Qaeda. I doubt it matters one way or another whether her story is fabricated or not, since the courts have refused to try her for the terrorism allegations. The only thing worth mentioning in the entire case is that the United States ignored due process.

The fact that she was tried in a court of law although her arrest and detention were illegal and overseas shouldn't have been overlooked-by U.S. residents. For Pakistanis to be screaming themselves hoarse about a miscarriage of justice is ludicrous on several levels. For one thing, no amount of screaming in this country will make any difference to the American judiciary. For another thing, if due process for our citizens is really what anyone cares about, they should probably begin by standing up in defense of Pakistanis who have been languishing in prisons around the world since 9/11. They should probably demand that America return all the other people from this country who have suffered in the war on terror and been kidnapped or tortured by intelligence agencies without trial. They should probably make a hue and cry about all those who have lost everything at the hands of justice systems but haven't been lucky enough to be afforded the title of qaum ki beti.

Really, is this the only beti our qaum could find? Notwithstanding that Aafia Siddiqui might be innocent, this country has thousands of "daughters" who deserve justice a great deal more, by simple virtue of being Pakistani citizens and residents. However heartening it is to see our backward leadership supposedly making a stand for women's rights, it would be far more heartening to see them carry the fight to prisons where so many women are awaiting justice in our own obscenely sluggish courts. It's convenient how governments in both the East and the West decide to care about women's emancipation when it suits them; even more convenient when they find a single figurehead who will symbolize their good intentions. Not so convenient for us ordinary citizens is how quickly we are all forgotten. Do all women and illegally detained prisoners in this country need to be on the CIA radar to get attention?
The Pakistan government had a right to demand that Aafia Siddiqui be tried in court as a U.S. citizen (which she was) and be sentenced accordingly (which she was, whether anyone likes the verdict or not). The angry protestors on the streets, led by opportunistic politicians, however, have an obligation to be true to their supposed values and fight the good fight in the name of all torture, all sexism, all miscarriages of justice, all illegal detainment. We are tired of hearing the same old nonsense, and selective campaigning just won't do anymore.

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