Dr Aafia deserved what she got

Published: September 27, 2010
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Dr Aafia has been declared guilty after a trial - why are we questioning her innocence now?

“I am not sad. I am not distressed. They are not torturing me. This is a myth and lie and its being spread among the Muslims.”

These were the words of Dr Aafia Siddiqui after the long awaited verdict was served against her on September 23. She was found guilty and was convicted of multiple charges including an attempt to murder American military personnel in Afghanistan. She has been sentenced with 86 years of imprisonment after which she called for Muslims to resist using violence.

The harsh punishment sparked an anticipated outrage in various sections of the public in different cities of Pakistan. Hundreds of activists demonstrated against the verdict by burning Israeli and American flags and chanting anti-American slogans like “Death for America” and “Down with the US system of justice”.

Leaving aside the fact that Aafia Siddiqui is an American citizen who was tried and convicted by the US judiciary after a thorough judicial process, as expected the Pakistani civil society (the so called protectors of justice), opportunist political parties and media sensationalized the whole issue and teamed up against the US courts simply because the judgment went against their wishes.

I am wondering  how legal professionalism, which demands respect for the judiciary, allowed lawyers to boycott Pakistani courts for a decision taken by the US court and that too for an American citizen.

On what basis could Pakistani lawyers brand the whole US judicial system as a ‘farce’ and criticize American judiciary which is known to be one of the transparent. Those who chant for Aafia Siddiqui are busy twisting facts to play politics on the issue which has actually become a matter of national shame.

We are forcing the international community to perceive Pakistan as not only producers of terrorists but supporters of them as well.

The time has come that instead of venting our nonsensical frustration on America and Jews we should seriously mend our ways. Instead of exporting violence to Afghanistan or any part of the world we must engage in constructive activities which will help the nation to turn into a progressive state.

As Afia’s sister had ‘submitted this case in Allah’s court’ — now the family should accept what Allah has granted them. I see no reason to call for a movement in support of a terrorist who is against the very sanctity of the nation. The United States might have wrongly imposed war in Iraq or be involved in human rights abuses but that doesn’t justify Dr Aafia’s crime which could have led to mass causalities along the 9/11 pattern.

In my opinion, the decision has been served. Now the nation should move on and not indulge in activities that will embarrass Pakistan on an international level. Blaming America for the chaos in Pakistan will not serve any purpose. Their judicial system is very strong, focused and transparent. The decision was what Dr Aafia deserved.

Had Americans wanted to kill her they wouldn’t have brought her to the courts, provide her with legal counsel and allowed the media to cover the trial. We need to realize that America is neither our friend nor foe.

We need not  enter into the debate of whether she was apprehended from Afghanistan or Pakistan. What matters to us is that she’s been proven guilty which is another blot on the face of Pakistan.

tanzeel.ahmad

Tanzeel Ahmad

A UAE based marketing professional who is interested in politics and cultural issues. He blogs at www.tanzeel.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.