Pak-Americans Pledge Legal Support for Aafia
Washington, DC: The Pakistani American community has pledged its ongoing support for appealing her sentencing after New York Judge Richard Berman sentenced Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, says a PANA statement.
PANA - Pakistan American National Alliance - a US-wide coalition of pro-democracy organizations, has reaffirmed its commitment to help Dr. Aafia appeal her case, the announcement adds.
The PANA statement reads in part:
"As law-abiding citizens of this country, we will continue to help Dr. Aafia's family seek justice through the appeals process. We urge the Pakistani-American community to remain peaceful, informed and involved.
"We are deeply saddened to see that the New York Court's verdict, based on a hearing narrowly-focused on 3-minutes of alleged attempted shooting of US marines, leaves too many related issues unexamined and has dealt a crippling blow to US-Pakistan relations.
"Nobody is fooled by the pretentious pontifications of the Zaradari-Gillani administration or the crocodile tears of their US ambassador, Husain Haqqani. Just two weeks, their NRO regime had refused to cooperate with the efforts of an international delegation of prominent experts scheduled to visit Pakistan to advocate for the repatriation of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a US-educated child specialist.
“The Pakistan American National Alliance (PANA) had organized the group's visit in order to provide expertise to facilitate Dr. Aafia's repatriation, improve Pakistan-US relations, and lend support to the Pakistan Government in the aftermath of a cataclysmic flood. The delegation was to be led by former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. However, Ms. McKinney's visa application was unreasonably delayed before being denied without explanation by Pakistani authorities.
“The Zaradari-Gillani administration has shortchanged Dr. Aafia in order to protect Gen Musharraf and those who had brokered the NRO deal between them. In his book, In the Line of Fire, General Musharraf indicts himself when he admits, "We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. Various Pakistani individuals have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of ‘not doing enough’ in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to Pakistanis."
The PANA statement concludes: “A source close to Dr. Aafia's family has observed that her family ‘would never have got involved with the legal team selection had they known that the Pakistan government would assume the role of client’, and thus completely exclude them from playing any role in deciding legal strategies."