PADF Calls for Deep Probe into Kamran Faisal's Mysterious Death
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) has called for deep probe into the mysterious death or probable murder of Kamran Faisal, an officer of Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The call came at the conclusion of a PADF meeting held Saturday,Jan 27, 2013, under the chairmanship of Dr Agha Saeed, the PADF founder.
The PADF meeting was attended, among others, by former US presidential candidate Senator Mike Gravel and six-term former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, both of whom visited Pakistan last year to support the ‘Release Dr. Aafia Siddiqui Movement.’ The meeting was also attended by Dr Mohammad Qayoumi, President San Jose University; Jawed Khan, a prominent community leader, and Syed Basharat Ali, President of the Pakistan Community Association of Greater New Orleans.
Saleem Akhtar of the PDF briefed the gathering about the mysterious death of Kamran Faisal who was found dead in his apartment on January 18.
Faisal's suspicious death exposes the pressures and dangers investigators face in working on high-profile graft cases in the current political climate in Pakistan. It also sends a powerful message to all officers investigating corruption scandals involving the authorities.
After Saleem Akhtar's briefing, the PDF passed a resolution calling on the government of Pakistan to hold extensive investigation into the whole affair.
Dr Aafia Siddiqui
Dr Aafia Siddiqui's plight also echoed at the PADF meeting when former Senator Mike Gravel suggested that the American Muslim civil advocacy groups should approach the nominated Defense Secretary Chuck Hegel and Secretary of State John Kerry to secure release of Dr Aafia who is serving 86-year imprisonment for her alleged attempt to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Senator Gravel said that the American Muslim groups should begin intensive efforts for Dr Aafia's release. He suggested that to put pressure on the US administration the groups should pass resolutions in this regard to be sent to Hegel and Kerry. He will draft a sample resolution to be sent to the Muslim groups for their approval.
The former Senator lamented that not enough pressure has been built in Pakistan to compel the government to secure Dr Aafia's release. He said that it was the government of Pakistan which is reluctant to approach the US administration.
He said that the Tehrik-e-Insaaf leader Imran Khan has pledged to work for Dr Aafia's release if his party comes to power in the forthcoming elections. However, he did not make Dr Aafia an issue in his election campaign.
Senator Gravel suggested that former Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri should be approached since he acknowledged that he is responsible for handing over Dr Aafia to the US. "I'm so sorry for handing over the innocent Dr.Aafia Siddiqui to the Americans. It was my biggest mistake ever! " Khurshid Kasuri said in a twitter message in January 2012.
While visiting Pakistan last year, Mark Gravel had said that he had never seen such a case in his career like that of Dr Aafia Siddiqui who is an innocent Pakistan citizen facing physical and mental torture for the last 10 years in America.
Both the Government of Pakistan and the United States were responsible for Dr Aafia’s case, he said, adding that if the Pakistani Government takes serious and practical steps, Dr Aafia can be "back in two days".
Talking to media before leaving Pakistan for the US, Senator Gravel urged the Pakistani leadership to take action for the release of Dr Aafia. “Dr Siddiqui is not a US citizen, so the US government should not be left to determine her fate. She should be returned to Pakistan so that she can begin to recover from the horrible torture and abuse that she has suffered,” said Senator Gravel.
Another participant in the PADF meeting was former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who had visited Pakistan last year where she had campaigned for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
Addressing a Press Conference in Islamabad, Cynthia McKinney said, "I am here for Dr Aafia Siddiqui. When I first learned of her situation I decided to do all that I could do to reverse the injustice to this poor innocent woman … The United States can give Aafia back. The Pakistan leadership just has to ask."
The Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) was the main initiator of the American human right activists' visit to Pakistan. It was established in 1982 as a grassroots organization to work for the restoration of democratic movement in Pakistan.
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