After nineteen years of war, in an important and somewhat controversial step, the US government signed a peace treaty with the Taliban, formerly the United Arab Emirates in Afghanistan, overthrown by US forces for failing to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden after the September 11 attacks.
Across the border, years of faltering partnerships between the United States and Pakistan have spread the spines of distrust and pessimism, especially among Pakistanis. More recently, the two countries have once again found themselves working together to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. The success or failure of this partnership boils down to two problems: security and trust.
The US Government the latest compliment for Pakistan’s efforts during the peace talks will not be enough to overcome the anger at the thousands of Pakistani lives lost in the war that the country’s leaders and elites are dragging its people. There continues to be a gap of trust between the Pakistani public and the government and concerns about the United States. Radical militant groups have armed unrest, confusion and powerlessness among the population of Pakistan to find new members. The United States must do more to win the loyalty of the population to reject rebel support and shelter.
One very prominent individual who continues to be used by terrorist organizations to get more recruitment is Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, also known as psuedonym Mrs. al-Qaeda. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in Neuroscience from Brandeis University, the story of Dr. Siddiqui continues to be a sensitive issue. He disappeared in 2003 from Karachi and was later found in Ghazni, Afghanistan in 2008. He was arrested and charged with attempting to murder US officials and brought to the Southern District court in New York to face trial. He was sentenced to eighty-six years at Carswell Medical Center, Texas.
As the United States continues to need solidarity with terrorist groups around the world, proper attention to the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui can be a step in the right direction in restoring the public relations that Pakistan has with its own government and the United States.
The disappearance of Siddiqui from 2003 to 2008 is still a mystery to this day. He was never charged with terrorism offenses in US courts and his relationship with Al-Qaeda was never established in court.
From 2003 to 2008, the US government tried to find its role in many al-Qaeda schemes but was unable to show any specific role in the plan. In Kasair Uzair Paracha, he was accused of giving support to al-Qaeda by making mailboxes for al-Qaeda members in Maryland. Then he was declared as a conspirator who was not charged in this case. In 2004, The Wall Street Journal also reported that UN prosecutors thought al-Qaeda might have sent Dr. Aafia Siddiqui went to Liberia on a secret mission in 2001 to trade diamonds, in which US officials concluded “no persuasive evidence” existed.
While in the western world Dr. Siddiqui is labeled as “Mrs. Al-Qaeda,” in Pakistan she is considered the “Princess of the Nation” authorized by Pakistani Senate round. Many Pakistanis equate the injustice done to him as injustice against Pakistan.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan even included the repatriation of Dr. Siddiqui into it 2018 Naya Pakistan Manifesto before being elected in 2018. PM Imran Khan in 2019 Interview, shortly after his meeting with US President Donald Trump, mentioned the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her government’s commitment to negotiate her release. He probably showed very good will that was needed by the US government when planning to withdraw US troops from the region.
The repatriation case is still pending in Jakarta Pakistan’s Supreme Court and Sindh High Court. His Mercy Requests were sent to President Trump in 2020. Furthermore, various movement to bring Dr. Aafia Siddiqui returned to Pakistan to continue to exist through a number of religious and human rights organizations. His name still has a social media presence.
The United States must show signs of good faith to a number of Pakistanis who are fighting at the forefront of this war on terrorism. At present, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui can be repatriated through presidential forgiveness or by Pakistan who makes a request for love. The two countries can work together to ensure the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui benefits everyone, especially the United States. Fate of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui continues to be featured in manifesto many terrorist organizations to exploit the emotions that are likely to be recruited like when ISIS ask for his exchange with American journalist James Foley in 2015.
An eighty-six-year sentence for attempted murder without prior preparation and suspicion of affiliation or association with terrorist organizations is deemed inhumane by many activists of human rights violationsespecially after being declared mentally unwell. His status shows he still is experience Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia.
Repatriation of Dr. Siddiqui goes to Pakistan to be the eagerly awaited compensation for the work Pakistan has done, and the sacrifices made by the locals during the war on terror. His return could serve as a sign of stronger relations between the two countries, a relationship that could hinder the plans of terrorist organizations to prey on anti-US and anti-government sentiments in Pakistan.
For now, Dr. Siddiqui is a woman who is still waiting for the court to officially define her crimes related to al-Qaeda, which continues to be a clear example of human rights violations, as well as a flare to exploit emotions. and spark hatred.
The United States, together with Pakistan, has the power to change the current narrative and lay the foundation for recovery for the people of Pakistan and from the stronger ties between the two countries against terrorism.
Dawood Ghazanavi is a qualified Supreme Court Attorney in Pakistan and writer Aafia has never been heard.
Friday, May 1 2020
Recent news reports indicate that US President Donald J. Trump is seriously considering withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan because of concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There are arguments for the United States to keep going and going, but this is a bad one on every count. Our troops will be hit by COVID-19 wherever they are. In Afghanistan, our military presence is the key strategy that the Trump administration has tried to achieve peace.
Friday, April 24, 2020
COVID-19 will not wait for negotiators to reach a humanitarian truce. This is not the time to place political goals above public health or to exploit divisions. A coordinated plan of action, which is based on a public health perspective and that prioritizes stopping violence, is needed to save lives. Every actor who uses a pandemic to score political points or to strengthen their hands on the negotiating table cannot truly commit to peace in Afghanistan.
Monday, March 30, 2020
During every major economic crisis in Pakistan – and a number of them – the wheels of the informal economy continue to move. At present, the informal sector will suffer the greatest loss, especially tens of millions of workers who depend on this cash-based sector to provide them with the minimum income needed to meet their daily needs.
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