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Dawn: Come clean, there is still time


It’s official: according to none other than this journal of record, the 12-year old child “left outside a house in Karachi [on Sunday, April 4, 2008] is the missing daughter of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the neuroscientist who was convicted in a US court for shooting at her US interrogators in Afghanistan.”
The child was left at Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s house by an American the child referred to as ‘Uncle John’ and who has since disappeared into thin air.

I have long held that Dr Siddiqui’s case was/is a very curious one indeed. Let us recap from the time that she disappeared from Karachi in the company of her three children in March 2003 until the time (July 17, 2008) that she was found loitering outside the Ghazni governor’s compound in Afghanistan in the company of a young lad said to be her son and both were taken into custody by the Afghan police.

She was alleged to be carrying inflammable materials and maps of potential targets in the United States “in jars” in her handbag. How big these ‘jars’ were, and how many kilogrammes of explosives were being transported in them was not mentioned to astounded readers.

We were not told either what in the world Dr Siddiqui was doing in Ghazni, Afghanistan, right outside the governor’s compound and under the very noses of American and Afghan forces and police. I wrote at the time that mayhap she had gone to Ghazni to catch the United Airlines early evening flight to JFK.

We were also informed that the next day, Dr Siddiqui had been shot in the abdomen “at least once” by an American soldier in self-defence after coming under fire from Dr Siddiqui who had come rushing out from behind a curtain where she was being held “unrestrained” for questioning, and picking up an M4 service rifle that had been left “at his feet” by an American warrant officer, had fired at him. And that but for the timely deflection of her shot by an Afghan interpreter she should have killed the American.

Whilst her son was arrested with her in Ghazni we were also told in a letter penned to the press by the US ambassador to Pakistan H.E. Anne Patterson that the American authorities had absolutely no idea about what had happened to her three children who had disappeared with her in March 2003. And now this young child turns up at her grandparents home in Karachi in the company of ‘Uncle John’. Curiouser and curiouser.

This story was beyond belief then, it is beyond belief now. It defied credibility then, it defies credibility now. There are holes the size of the Titanic in this ‘official’ version of events and at the time that this seeming poppycock was being rolled out, I had written a riposte to the US ambassador’s letter on several aspects.

For example as someone who has handled small arms as a soldier in the infantry; has taught them, and therefore has fired thousands of rounds from all types of small arms, I couldn’t for the life of me imagine even a first-class shooter pick up a rifle he/she did not know, cock it, find the safety catch and flip it, and fire it in under the three seconds that it probably took the alleged Afghan translator to allegedly lunge at Siddiqui and allegedly deflect her alleged shot.

I also asked why Siddiqui had been shot at after she had been overpowered by the Afghan translator and had probably been well and truly subdued, for she is no Samson.

To prove the point that it was highly unlikely for this frail woman to do what she was alleged to have done, I suggested to the ambassador who seems to have the same dimensions as Dr Siddiqui to get one of her Marines at the embassy to place a loaded M4 service rifle (on ‘safe’ as is the standard operating procedure) on the ground near her. She should then pick it up, cock it, flip the safety catch and fire it. I had suggested that she may well fail to even cock the seven-pound heavy rifle in 10 seconds, let alone fire it in three.

I had reminded the ambassador of the embarrassment, nay disgrace, his handlers brought her former boss, the good Gen Colin Powell, when they made him tell white lies on live TV about Iraq’s so-called weapons of mass destruction.

I had said that whilst America had its Sarah ‘Barracuda’ Palins also, who can shoot and skin (and eat?) a moose in under 17 minutes, what we Pakistanis must do is to pray with all our might that Barack Obama and Joe Biden beat the living daylights out of McCain and the Barracuda. And that we are rid of the neocon madmen and women who not only hold America the Beautiful by the jugular, but the rest of the world by the throat too.

Well, friends, we are rid of the mindless ‘Dubya’ and his keepers; the intelligent and compassionate Barack Obama is now the president of the mightiest country on the face of the planet. Now then Excellency, who is this Maryam girl; and who is her Uncle John? And where is Dr Siddiqui’s third child please?

As I have said earlier, if some foolish official has messed up on the Afia Siddiqui case please do not exacerbate the matter by covering up for him/her and bringing America the Beautiful into more disrepute. Tell the whole truth even now; put the matter right even now. Dr Afia Siddiqui is accused of crimes ranging from buying blood diamonds to planning terrorist attacks to being the vilest person on earth. Yet, she was charged in court with what can only be called an impossible crime.

Please act now, if only for the reason that America is home to some of the kindest hearted and generous and warm and disarmingly simple people anywhere on this planet.

Source: Dawn

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Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

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