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Malik seeks Aafia's repatriation on humanitarian grounds

07 October, 2012

WASHINGTON: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has appealed to the US administration to repatriate jailed Pakistani neuroscientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui to her home country on humanitarian grounds.

Malik, who met several top American officials, said he cited the plight of Aafia's ailing mother and the adverse impact of years of separation from her children, who intensely wanted to meet her and want her back with them.

"I raised the issue with the full force of Pakistani people's emotions. Let us hope the request is considered sympathetically," he told Washington-based Pakistani journalists at the end of a hectic schedule of meetings on Friday evening.

Malik met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller and US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman. "One way to deal with the situation resulting from Aafia's imprisonment here could be that she is allowed to complete the rest of her sentence in Pakistan," he suggested. He dismissed the notion that there could be a trade-off that Aafia be repatriated in exchange for release of Dr Shakeel Afridi, a Pakistani, who worked for CIA in hunt for Osama bin Laden, and had been jailed by a tribal court for his links to militant organisations. "These are two totally different cases," Malik said.

"Afridi's first duty was to his country and if he had access to any information he should have shared it with the Pakistani government. Pakistani authorities are thoroughly probing to ascertain full details of Afridi's activities and motives," Malik said. In his meeting with Secretary Clinton, the minister thanked her for the US administration articulating a clear-cut and strong stand on the issue of an anti-Islam film, which caused uproar in the Muslim world. He noted that both US President Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton deplored the contents of the film.

During his conversations with American officials, Malik also expressed the Pakistani people's concern on US drone attacks against suspected militant targets in the Tribal Areas. He said drones, however accurate, violated Pakistan's sovereignty.

Malik also discussed the issue of curbing availability of materials used by terrorists in improvised explosive devices (IED). "Half of the thousands of Pakistanis injured in retaliation against Islamabad's decade-old anti-militant campaign have been victims of IEDs," he said. He told American officials that Pakistan had taken strong measures to curb material used in such devices.

Malik said he also raised the issue of "aggression" coming from across the Afghan border, especially from the Kunar area into Pakistani border and Balochistan. He proposed Pakistan, Afghanistan and US to work together in a trilateral way to sort out cross-border issues and end the 'blame-game'.

He said he had pointed out the presence of militant leader Mullah Fazalullah and Maulvi Faqir on the Afghan soil and the support and arms emanating from Afghanistan for some elements in Balochistan. "We are victims and are suffering at the hands of terrorists operating from Afghan territory. We are fighting not only for Pakistan but also for the regional and world peace. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan are victims of terror," he said.

Malik told media that evidence about arms flowing from Afghanistan into Pakistan came to light when a weapons-laden truck was discovered while passing through Chaman border. Talking about Haqqani network, the interior minister said it comprised of Afghans and operated in Afghanistan. He said, "Militants keep moving along the border and there is no evidence that Haqqanis operate out of Pakistan."

End.

Reader Comments:

Pakistan should work hard on efforts to release Dr.Afia siddique from American jail

Riyaz ahmad, India - 07 October, 2012

Aafia Siddiqui

KILL MALIK FOR SAYING THAT AAFIA COULD BE IN CONFINEMENT IN PAKISTAN. OH MUSLIMS, DO ALL OF THE FOLLOWING THINGS IMMEDIATELY, BREAK AAFIA SIDDIQUI OUT BY FORCE FROM THE CARSWELL PRISON IN FORTH WORTH, TEXAS, KILLING EVERYONE IN THE WAY, EXECUTE IN THE MOST BRUTAL MANNER IN HISTORY RICHARD BERMAN, THE MAN WHO SENTENCED HER, AND EVERY SPY, POLICE OFFICER, SOLDIER, POLITICIAN, PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER, AS WELL AS JAIL GUARD, MEDIA PERSONNEL AND UNSYMPATHETIC CITIZEN WHO TOOK PART IN HER TORMENT, SEARCH FOR, LOCATE AND RESCUE SULEYMAN, HER SON, WHO IS NOW NINE OR TEN, AND REUNITE HIM WITH HIS FAMILY IN PERMANENT PEACE AND SECURITY, DO THE SAME FOR THE ENTIRETY OF THE UMMAH, AND THE INNOCENT OF HUMANITY, RE-ESTABLISH THE CALIPHATE, RULE BY THE SHARIAH, WAGE JIHAD AGAINST THE DISBELIEVERS UNTIL THEY ARE SUBDUED, SPREAD JUSTICE THE WAY INJUSTICE IS SPREAD, OBLITERATE POVERTY, COMPENSATE THE VICTIMS OF POVERTY AND INJUSTICE, DO SO RETROACTIVELY AS WELL, PUNISH THE AGGRESSORS AND THE LEECHES OF MANKIND, AVENGE THE TORMENTED OF THE UMMAH, WIPE OUT THE JEWS FROM PALESTINE AND OBLITERATE POVERTY. THERE IS NONE WORTHY OF WORSHIP BUT ALLAH, AND MUHAMMAD (PEACE BE UPON HIM) IS THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH! DO WITH ALL SECULAR GOVERNMENTS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD WHAT THE MUJAHIDEEN OF SYRIA ARE DOING WITH ASSAD'S GOVERNMENT. PUNISH SEVERELY "HASINA" OF BANGLADESH FOR DENYING THE ROHINGYA REFUGE!

sdfa, - 07 October, 2012

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