More efforts needed within Pakistan for release of Aafia: Clive Stafford Smith

Lahore: (HRNW) Noted Human Rights Attorney and lawyer in Dr Aafia Siddiqui case Clive Safford Smith has said that more efforts are needed within Pakistan to secure the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui as hurdle in her return appears to be in Pakistan. Addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club, here Wednesday, he said that the case of Aafia is the worst example of human rights violations. He said that Aafia’s emotional trauma is worse than those in Guantanamo as is understandable. He said Dr Aafia has no idea why she is where she is and being a highly brilliant woman has her entire life being gradually sucked out of her, and all outside communication cut off, is like being trapped in an avalanche with no one to call.

He said Aafia is a mother and taking away little children from a mother is the worst form of human coercion ever. Any woman would go stark raving mad just by losing her child, yet Aafia is hanging in there. Smith said he met with Aafia, he gave her hope, he told her people in Pakistan love her, she is the daughter of the nation and she should keep hope. Aafia expressed faith in the Pakistani people. I appeal to you not to let her down, he asked the audience. “She is yours and you the keepers of justice, the defenders of constitutional rights need to unite and rise above to support our efforts.” Support the legal proceedings of her case. Help us in our struggle to get the federation stand up for Aafia’s rights as the constitution of your great nation has provided, he urged.

It appears the hurdle in bringing Aafia home lays here in her own country. And together we need to identify and overcome the hurdle, he said. Smith apologized for the mistakes his country has made and how the justice system is flawed in ways that enable mistakes like Aafia’s incarceration and Guantánamo bay to continue, though Bagram and Abu Gharaib have been shut down by efforts of humanitarian activists like you all. He said Aafia’s case is human at its core and universal in appeal.

Aafia Movement leader and noted neurophysician of the country Dr Fowzia Siddiqui said that the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui is a big question mark on the state of protection of the rights if Pakistani citizens. She said it is the most severe torture to a woman to snatch her children from her. She said three children were snatched from Dr Aafia and she has been in detention for last two decades. She lauded thru journalist for their support to the cause of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and said that it is the demand of the whole nation that the innocent daughter, Aafia, should be freed immediately.

Pasban Democratic Party PDP Chairman Altaf Shakoor said it is said by the rulers that people are the basic source of power. He said the people of Pakistan demand release of Aafia and the practical steps by the rulers to meet their demand would prove if the rulers are right in their claim that the power belong to the people.

He said the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui would give more respect to the Pakistani passport. He said investment is not coming into Pakistan because of its poor image. He said respecting the rights of people and ensuring their security and safety would improve the soft image of the country. He welcomed Clive Smith in Pakistan and appreciated his tireless efforts for the cause of Pakistani prisoners in the US.