Are TV Anchors Honestly Reporting Dr Aafia's Case?

Oct 4th, 2010 | By | Category: Express Tribune

In a column for Express Tribune last week, Fasi Zaka made a startling claim: TV anchors are intentionally misleading viewers about the Dr. Aafia Siddiqui case.

I have a friend who works in the production unit of Pakistan’s most watched channels, and she told me an interesting anecdote that when the verdict was announced for Dr Aafia (not the sentencing which has been done separately now) the news team all thought Dr Aafia was not entirely innocent because of other facts in the case, but when they went on air they agreed to do so with the unequivocal line that she was innocent.

This is a problem. We might expect politicians to make statements based on the public opinion, but reporters we expect to provide objective facts – not simply tell us what we want to hear. If TV anchors are intentionally changing their reporting to cover up uncomfortable or unpopular facts, they are not really reporting at all.

Politicians will naturally change their positions to match the popular mood. No politician wants to be at odds with the popular opinions. For this reason, particularly with important international issues like the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the people must have the facts to properly understand the issues and pressure the political leaders to make the correct positions.

If journalists are intentionally reporting what they think people want to hear rather than what the facts are, an information chaos results. Unfounded rumours and gossips becomes legitimized when they are repeated on TV or in the newspapers, and then become even more entrenched when politicians make speeches and statements that follow these stories.

It is imperative that journalists report the facts – even when these facts are uncomfortable. Otherwise, we will only be building on a foundation of error.

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  1. Why is it so that every key member of any so-called Islamic Militant has a US Background [either educational, professional etc.etc.] either they were in USA, are in USA and had been associated with USA??? Date of kidnapping of Ms. Aafia and Mr KSM is to be noticed while keeping in mind their US background. Who were they working for??? Earlier The News had published this story but since The News has “changed” it’s format therefore the same story which was lifted by Pak Tribune is being posted here: Dr Aafia Siddiqui�s husband breaks his silence after six years Claims most reports in the local media are false Wednesday February 18, 2009 (0605 PST)

    KARACHI: After six years of silence, Dr Muhammad Amjad Khan, ex-husband of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, has finally spoken up and says that most of the press reports that relate to his former wife as well as his children are false. In an exclusive talk with our sources, he said that most claims are being propagated to garner public support and sympathy for Dr Aafia but are one-sided and in most instances untrue.
    Dr Aafia Siddiqui, suspected of having links to terrorist organizations, has been charged in a criminal complaint filed in a court of New York on account of attempting to kill US personnel during interrogation and on a charge of assaulting US officers and employees in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 17, 2008. Subsequently Dr Aafia was imprisoned in Bagram for 18 days before being taken to the US for a trial.

    Due to pressure from Aafia Siddiqui�s family, the Pakistan government has been trying to secure her release from the US claiming her to be innocent. Although the US government has guaranteed Aafia the best legal assistance and a fair trial, her family is adamant that she be sent back on grounds that the US authorities have been consistently torturing her for years.

    �Aafia�s release cannot be secured by propagating stories based on falsehood and deception,� commented Dr Amjad Khan, in an interview with our sources. Dr Amjad, who was married to Dr Aafia for seven years until their divorce in October 2002, said Aafia�s family and supporters should not believe that truth will not be revealed and mere lies will help in securing Aafia�s repatriation.

    He added that he is disappointed with the government�s disregard for the law when officials handed over his eldest son, Ahmad, to his aunt Dr Fowzia Siddiqui on his return from Afghanistan last year instead of his legal guardian, his father. �The government made no effort to locate me despite the fact that I am Ahmad�s real and legal guardian. My address in Karachi has not changed for the past 30 years. Ever since I returned from the US after our divorce, I have been living with my family,� he said adding: �Both the Minister for Interior Rehman Malik and Dr Fowzia have been taking credit for obtaining Ahmad�s release even though there was not a stone I left unturned to locate my missing children and obtain their custody according to law.�

    Providing documentary proof of the legal agreement between him and Dr Aafia following their divorce, Dr Amjad said that he had been financially supporting his three children Ahmed, Marium and Suleiman until the family stopped accepting the cheques he had been mailing. �After the agreement they accepted my cheques till March 2003. After that my cheques were being returned from Aafia�s home and that got me worried. Soon after I learnt that in April 2003, Aafia and our children had been �picked up� by agencies.� Meanwhile, he received disturbing reports from the family that Aafia chose to leave Karachi with her children as she feared an attack from him.

    Curious to locate the whereabouts of his children, Dr Amjad sought the help of the police and government officials to find them. �I was aware of Aafia�s violent personality and extremist views and suspected her involvement in Jihadi activities. My fear later proved to be true when during Uzair Paracha�s trial in the US in 2004, the real purpose of Aafia�s trip to the US (between December 23, 2002 and January 3, 2003) was revealed.�

    Elaborating, Dr Amjad disclosed that he later learnt from media reports that Aafia�s family claimed she made this trip to the US for job interviews in December at a time when universities were closed for winter holidays. �I also found it very odd that on the one hand Aafia insisted on leaving the US after September 11, 2001, claiming the country was unsafe for us and our children because the US government was abducting Muslim children, and on the other hand took the risk of travelling to that country again without fearing that she may be captured and may never see our children again.�

    While Dr Aafia was in the US, the authorities had been closely watching her, added Amjad. They soon issued the first global �wanted for questioning� alert for the couple in March 2003. �At that time, the agencies did not know we were divorced and I was also unaware of Aafia�s involvement with two other terror suspects, Majid Khan and Ammar Al-Baluchi. They wanted me to persuade Aafia to appear for the interview with them and clear the charges leveled against her just as I had done. That is when she went underground and it later became apparent why she chose to �disappear�,� disclosed Dr Amjad.

    Sharing details of his unsuccessful marriage with Dr Aafia, Dr Amjad told our sources that since their marriage was arranged, he was unaware of Aafia�s violent behaviour. �She got hysterical fits when she became angry and would physically attack me, but I put up with it for the sake of our children.�

    Although Amjad and Aafia both were inclined towards religion, he found her opinion towards Jihad to be of an extreme nature that sometimes made him uncomfortable. He became particularly suspicious of his wife�s intentions when soon after the 9/11 attacks, she compelled Amjad to leave Boston (where Amjad was completing his residency) and move to Afghanistan where she claimed �he would be more useful�.

    The couple, however, chose to come to Pakistan instead for a vacation and discuss the matter with Amjad�s family. It was here that his parents noticed Aafia�s violent behaviour towards their son on several occasions, particularly when she openly asked for khula (divorce) when Amjad declined to go to Afghanistan. Therefore Amjad decided to file for a divorce as Aafia was adamant she wanted to go. �I tried my best to save our marriage, but divorce was inevitable,� he recalls.

    However, after mutual consent, the couple signed a legal agreement whereby the custody of the three minors was given to Aafia, while Amjad was required to pay for their education and maintenance. �Although the agreement says I am permitted to meet my children once a week, I was not allowed to do so,� claimed Amjad sharing a copy of the agreement during the interview.

    Based on his past experience, Amjad says he had reason to worry about his children. �I feared Aafia might pursue her political ambitions to the detriment of our children�s welfare so I couldn�t help following her case after her family claimed she had been abducted.� Amjad added that he was tempted to use other means to try and rescue his children in these past five years especially since he had evidence that were missing or kidnapped, he claimed. �But I chose to be patient and pursued the case according to the law.� He also filed a case in court against Aafia to obtain the custody of his children.

    �When the Court was unsuccessful, I requested the HRCP to include my children�s names in their missing persons petition in the Supreme Court and also appealed to the Chief Justice for Suo Moto action as this was the only case where three minors were involved.�

    However, after Ahmad was released and handed over to Dr Fowzia last year, Dr Amjad requested her to allow him to visit his son, but she refused. �At first she said Ahmed was mentally unfit to talk, and then claimed that he was not my son but an orphan adopted by Aafia and US reports that his DNA matched Aafia�s were also �cooked�. I refused to accept any of that as I had identified my son as soon as I saw a report on the electronic media of his arrest in Afghanistan.�

    When questioned on what basis was Aafia�s family�denying a meeting with his son, Amjad stated that the family is punishing him for divorcing Aafia. �Aafia�s mother and Dr Fowzia had warned me at the time of our divorce that they would take revenge�by not letting me meet the children,� he said adding �But now they are discouraging a meeting with Ahmad because they fear Ahmad will reveal the truth about Aafia�s activities and whereabouts of his siblings over these years.�

    He added that Dr Fowzia had similarly threatened him several years ago by taking a picture of Aafia while she was asleep after she injured her upper lip (by a milk bottle)�in an accident. Dr Fowzia warned Amjad that if he tried to divorce Aafia, she would use the picture against him alleging him to be an abusive husband. �It was made to appear in the picture that Aafia was badly injured. Today, the same picture is being circulated in the media to claim that Aafia was tortured for years in Bagram,� he revealed.�

    Furthermore, Amjad listed the several allegations leveled against him over the years to justify his not meeting his children: First they accused him of kidnapping his three children soon after his divorce with Aafia. To deny this accusation, he lodged a complaint against the family with the Sindh Police and requested officials to help him locate his children, but to no avail.

    Later, Aafia�s family accused him of being an abusive husband and father preventing the children from meeting their father. �Aafia�s mother has also accused me in the media of changing the children�s names whereas in reality they had resorted to these tactics to conceal the children.�

    He alleged that Dr Fowzia also used the Asian Human Rights Commission, an NGO based in Honk Kong, to mislead the government about his two missing children. �The AHRC received the information about my two missing children being in an orphanage in Afghanistan from Dr Fowzia, who was diverting attention away from the place where the children really are.� claimed Amjad.

    Earlier, when Aafia�s father died, the family held Amjad responsible for his death too claiming he suffered a stroke after he saw the divorce document. �That is simply not true because I mailed the document two days after Aafia�s father died and that too because I was unaware of the unfortunate incident. Their family never kept me posted on anything in the six-week period between our verbal and written divorce. I was just as shocked at his death.�

    Moreover, the family alleged that Aafia was in trouble and had been kidnapped because her former husband (Dr Amjad) handed over her personal diary to the FBI. �After this, false reports about Aafia�s arrest and Pakistani government�s involvement in handing her over to the US despite repeated denials by the Minister of Interior and other officials, started making headlines� claims the doctor, who has now re-married.

    It is the whereabouts of his two children � Marium now aged 10, and six-year-old Suleiman � that worries him now, said Amjad. Like the coordinates of Dr Aafia Siddiqui remained a mystery after she was allegedly �picked up� in March 2003, Dr Amjad believes Aafia�s family may be using the same tactics in the case of his two children, who are reportedly �missing�.

    �I am sure they are around Karachi and in contact with their maternal family as both Aafia and the children were seen around their house here and in Islamabad on multiple occasions since their alleged disappearance in 2003. They may be living under an assumed identity just like Aafia and Ahmed had been living [as Saliha and Ali Ahsan] for five years before they got arrested,� believes the father. He said Dr Fowzia�s claim that the children are missing after being removed from the Bagram prison in Afghanistan �may be an attempt to attract sympathy of the government and the people and distract its attention from the real location.�


  2. Dear Admin,

    One of my post is stuck in your spam guard.

  3. My apologies. It should now be posted.


  4. Thanks:)

  5. ‘MI handed Dr Aafia over to US’ By Faraz Khan Friday, August 08, 2008

    KARACHI: The Sindh Home Department has alleged Military Intelligence (MI) detained Dr Aafia Siddiqui in 2003 and then handed her over to United States-based agencies, Daily Times learnt on Thursday.

    Dr Siddiqui is under trial in New York, accused of Al Qaeda involvement and attempting to kill FBI agents while detained in Afghanistan.

    Sources close to the matter claimed the Interior Ministry asked the provincial home departments for detailed reports on missing persons a couple of weeks ago, and that the list prepared by the Sindh Home Department included Dr Siddiqui and her three children, Maryam, Ahmed and Suleman. The report confirmed MI detained Dr Siddiqui and her three children in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on March 30, 2003, later handing her over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    The FBI declared the arrests of Siddiqui and her teenage son Muhammad Ahmed, while her other two children, Maryam and Suleman, remain missing.

    Dr Fauzia, Siddiqui’s younger sister, declined to comment when asked about the missing children.

    Dr Siddiqui’s mother, Ismat, told Daily Times that she did not know who detained her daughter but said she was told an officer from the law enforcement or intelligence agency admitted he arrested Dr Siddiqui. After Dr Siddiqui’s arrest, FBI officials apologised and promised to release her, but this promise has yet to be honoured. “If Aafia was genuinely a criminal, our lawyer would not have taken the case as he did a thorough investigation into our family and found no evidence of any wrongdoing,” she said. When contacted for comment, no senior official in the Sindh Home Department was available.

  6. The mystery of Dr Aafia Siddiqui Declan Walsh The Guardian, Tuesday 24 November 2009

    On a hot summer morning 18 months ago a team of four Americans – two FBI agents and two army officers – rolled into Ghazni, a dusty town 50 miles south of Kabul. They had come to interview two unusual prisoners: a woman in a burka and her 11-year-old son, arrested the day before.

    Afghan police accused the mysterious pair of being suicide bombers. What interested the Americans, though, was what they were carrying: notes about a “mass casualty attack” in the US on targets including the Statue of Liberty and a collection of jars and bottles containing “chemical and gel substances”.

    At the town police station the Americans were directed into a room where, unknown to them, the woman was waiting behind a long yellow curtain. One soldier sat down, laying his M-4 rifle by his foot, next to the curtain. Moments later it twitched back.

    The woman was standing there, pointing the officer’s gun at his head. A translator lunged at her, but too late. She fired twice, shouting “Get the fuck out of here!” and “Allahu Akbar!” Nobody was hit. As the translator wrestled with the woman, the second soldier drew his pistol and fired, hitting her in the abdomen. She went down, still kicking and shouting that she wanted “to kill Americans”. Then she passed out.

    Whether this extraordinary scene is fiction or reality will soon be decided thousands of miles from Ghazni in a Manhattan courtroom. The woman is Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist and mother of three. The description of the shooting, in July 2008, comes from the prosecution case, which Siddiqui disputes. What isn’t in doubt is that there was an incident, and that she was shot, after which she was helicoptered to Bagram air field where medics cut her open from breastplate to bellybutton, searching for bullets. Medical records show she barely survived. Seventeen days later, still recovering, she was bundled on to an FBI jet and flown to New York where she now faces seven counts of assault and attempted murder. If convicted, the maximum sentence is life in prison.

    The prosecution is but the latest twist in one of the most intriguing episodes of America’s “war on terror”. At its heart is the MIT-educated Siddiqui, once declared the world’s most wanted woman. In 2003 she mysteriously vanished for five years, during which time she was variously dubbed the “Mata Hari of al-Qaida” or the “Grey Lady of Bagram”, an iconic victim of American brutality.

    Yet only the narrow circumstances of her capture – did she open fire on the US soldier? – are at issue in the New York court case. Fragile-looking, and often clad in a dark robe and white headscarf, Siddiqui initially pleaded not guilty, insisting she never touched the soldier’s gun. Her lawyers say the prosecution’s dramatic version of the shooting is untrue. Now, after months of pre-trial hearings, she appears bent on scuppering the entire process.

    During a typically stormy hearing last Thursday, Siddiqui interrupted the judge, rebuked her own lawyers and made strident appeals to the packed courthouse. “I am boycotting this trial,” she declared. “I am innocent of all the charges and I can prove it, but I will not do it in this court.” Previously she had tried to fire her lawyers due to their Jewish background (she once wrote to the court that Jews are “cruel, ungrateful, back-stabbing” people) and demanded to speak with President Obama for the purpose of “making peace” with the Taliban. This time, though, she was ejected from the courtroom for obstruction. “Take me out. I’m not coming back,” she said defiantly.

    The trial, due to start in January, is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. It is a tale of spies and militants, disappearance and deception, which has played out in the shadowlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan since 2001. In search of answers I criss-crossed Pakistan, tracking down Siddiqui’s relatives, retired ministers, shadowy spy types and pamphleteers. The truth was maddeningly elusive. But it all started in Karachi, the sprawling port city on the Arabian Sea where Siddiqui was born 37 years ago.

    Her parents were Pakistani strivers – middle-class folk with strong faith in Islam and education. Her father, Mohammad, was an English-trained doctor; her mother, Ismet, befriended the dictator General Zia ul-Haq. Aafia was a smart teenager, and in 1990 followed her older brother to the US. Impressive grades won her admission to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, later, Brandeis University, where she graduated in cognitive neuroscience. In 1995 she married a young Karachi doctor, Amjad Khan; a year later their first child, Ahmed, was born.

    Siddiqui was also an impassioned Muslim activist. In Boston she campaigned for Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya; she was particularly affected by graphic videos of pregnant Bosnian women being killed. She wrote emails, held fundraisers and made forceful speeches at her local mosque. But the charities she worked with had sharp edges. The Nairobi branch of one, Mercy International Relief Agency, was linked to the 1998 US embassy bombings in east Africa; three other charities were later banned in the US for their links to al-Qaida.

    The September 11 2001 attacks marked a turning point in Siddiqui’s life. In May 2002 the FBI questioned her and her husband about some unusual internet purchases they had made: about $10,000 worth of night-vision goggles, body armour and 45 military-style books including The Anarchist’s Arsenal. (Khan said he bought the equipment for hunting and camping expeditions.) Their marriage started to crumble. A few months later the couple returned to Pakistan and divorced that August, two weeks before the birth of their third child, Suleman.

    On Christmas Day 2002 Siddiqui left her three children with her mother in Pakistan and returned to the US, ostensibly to apply for academic jobs. During the 10-day trip, however, Siddiqui did something controversial: she opened a post box in the name of Majid Khan, an alleged al-Qaida operative accused of plotting to blow up petrol stations in the Baltimore area. The post box, prosecutors later said, was to facilitate his entry into the US.

    Six months after her divorce, she married Ammar al-Baluchi, a nephew of the 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, at a small ceremony near Karachi. Siddiqui’s family denies the wedding took place, but it has been confirmed by Pakistani and US intelligence, al-Baluchi’s relatives and, according to FBI interview reports recently filed in court, Siddiqui herself. At any rate, it was a short-lived honeymoon.

    Fowzia Siddiqui is the elder sister of Aafia Siddiqui. Photograph: Declan Walsh
    In March 2003 the FBI issued a global alert for Siddiqui and her ex-husband, Amjad Khan. Then, a few weeks later, she vanished. According to her family, she climbed into a taxi with her three children – six-year-old Ahmed, four-year-old Mariam and six-month old Suleman – and headed for Karachi airport. They never made it. (Khan, on the other hand, was interviewed by the FBI in Pakistan, and subsequently released.)

    Initially it was presumed that Siddiqui had been picked up by Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) spy agency at the behest of the CIA. The theory seemed to be confirmed by American media reports that Siddiqui’s name had been given up by Mohammed, the 9/11 instigator, who was captured three weeks earlier. (If so, Mohammed was probably speaking under duress – the CIA waterboarded him 183 times that month.)

    There are several accounts of what happened next. According to the US government, Siddiqui was at large, plotting mayhem on behalf of Osama bin Laden. In May 2004 the US attorney general, John Ashcroft, listed her among the seven “most wanted” al-Qaida fugitives. “Armed and dangerous,” he said, describing the Karachi woman as a terrorist “facilitator” who was willing to use her education against America. “Al-Qaida Mom” ran the headline in the New York Post.

    But Siddiqui’s family and supporters tell a different story. Instead of plotting attacks, they say, Siddiqui spent the missing five years at the dreaded Bagram detention centre, north of Kabul, where she suffered unspeakable horrors. Yvonne Ridley, the British journalist turned Muslim campaigner, insists she is the “Grey Lady of Bagram” – a ghostly female detainee who kept prisoners awake “with her haunting sobs and piercing screams”. In 2005 male prisoners were so agitated by her plight, she says, that they went on hunger strike for six days.

    For campaigners such as Ridley, Siddiqui has become emblematic of dark American practices such as abduction, rendition and torture. “Aafia has iconic status in the Muslim world. People are angry with American imperialism and domination,” she told me.

    But every major security agency of the US government – army, FBI, CIA – denies having held her. Last year the US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, went even further. She stated that Siddiqui was not in US custody “at any time” prior to July 2008. Her language was unusually categoric.

    To reconcile these accounts I flew to Siddiqui’s hometown of Karachi. The family lives in a spacious house with bougainvillea-draped walls in Gulshan Iqbal, a smart middle-class neighbourhood. Inside I took breakfast with her sister, Fowzia, on a patio overlooking a toy-strewn garden.

    As servants brought piles of paratha (fried bread), Fowzia produced photos of a smiling young woman whom she described as the victim of an international conspiracy. The US had been abusing her sister in Bagram, she said, then produced her for trial as part of a gruesome justice pageant. “As far as I’m concerned this trial [in New York] is just a great drama. They write the script as they go. I’ve stopped asking questions,” she said resignedly.

    But Fowzia, a Harvard-educated neurologist, was frustratingly short on hard information. She responded to questions about Aafia’s whereabouts between 2003 and 2008 with cryptic cliches. “It’s not that we don’t know. It’s that we don’t want to know,” she said. And she blamed reports of al-Qaida links on a malevolent American press. “Half of them work for the CIA,” she said.

    The odd thing, though, was that the person who might unlock the entire mystery was living in the same house. After being captured with his mother in Ghazni last year, 11-year-old Ahmed Siddiqui was flown back to Pakistan on orders from the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. Since then he has been living with his aunt Fowzia. Yet she has forbidden him from speaking with the press – even with Yvonne Ridley – because, she told me, he was too traumatised.

    “You tell him to do something but he just stands there, staring at the TV,” she said, sighing heavily. But surely, I insisted, after 15 months at home the boy must have divulged some clue about the missing years?

    Fowzia’s tone hardened. “Ahmed’s not allowed to speak to the press. That was part of the deal when they gave him to us,” she said firmly.

    “Who are they?” I asked.

    She waved a finger in the air. “The network. Those who brought him here.”

    Moments later Fowzia excused herself. The interview was over. As she walked me to the gate, I was struck by another omission: Fowzia had barely mentioned Ahmed’s 11-year-old sister, Mariam, or his seven-year-old brother, Suleman, who are still missing. Amid the hullabaloo about their imprisoned mother, Aafia’s children seemed to be strangely forgotten.

    That night I went to see Siddiqui’s ex-husband, Amjad Khan. He ushered me through a deathly quiet house into an upstairs room where we sat cross-legged on the floor. He had a soft face under the curly beard that is worn by devout Muslims. I recounted what Fowzia told me. He sighed and shook his head. “It’s all a smokescreen,” he said. “She’s trying to divert your attention.”

    The truth of the matter, he said, was that Siddiqui had never been sent to Bagram. Instead she spent the five years on the run, living clandestinely with her three children, under the watchful eye of Pakistani intelligence. He told me they shifted between Quetta in Baluchistan province, Iran and the Karachi house I had visited earlier that day. It was a striking explanation. When I asked for proof, he started at the beginning.

    Their parents, who arranged the marriage, thought them a perfect match. The couple had a lot in common – education, wealth and a love for conservative Islam. They were married over the phone; soon after Khan moved to America. But his new wife was a more fiery character than he wished. “She was so pumped up about jihad,” he said.

    Six months into the marriage, Siddiqui demanded the newlyweds move to Bosnia. Khan refused, and grew annoyed at her devotion to activist causes. During a furious argument one night, he told me, he flung a milk bottle at his wife that split her lip.

    After 9/11 Aafia insisted on returning to Pakistan, telling her husband that the US government was forcibly converting Muslim children to Christianity. Later that winter she pressed him to go on “jihad” to Afghanistan, where she had arranged for them to work in a hospital in Zabul province. Khan refused, sparking a vicious row. “She went hysterical, beating her hands on my chest, asking for divorce,” he recalled.

    After Siddiqui disappeared in March 2003, Khan started to worry for his children – he had never seen his youngest son, Suleman. But he was reassured that they were still in Pakistan through three sources. He hired people to watch her house and they reported her comings and goings. His family was also briefed by ISI officials who said they were following her movements, he said. (Khan named an ISI brigadier whom I later contacted; he declined to speak).

    Most strikingly, Khan claimed to have seen his ex-wife with his own eyes. In April 2003, he said, the ISI asked him to identify his ex-wife as she got off a flight from Islamabad, accompanied by her son. Two years later he spotted her again in a Karachi traffic jam. But he never went public with the information. “I wanted to protect her, for the sake of my children,” he said.

    Shams ul-Hassan Faruqi, a geologist and uncle of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, at his home in Islamabad, Pakistan Photograph: Declan Walsh
    Khan’s version of events has enraged his ex-wife’s family. Fowzia has launched a 500m rupees (£360,000) defamation law suit, while regularly attacking him in the press as a wifebeater set on “destroying” her family. “Marrying him was Aafia’s biggest mistake,” she told me. Khan says it is a ploy to silence him in the media and take away his children.

    Khan’s explanation is bolstered by the one person who claims to have met the missing neuroscientist between 2003 and 2008 – her uncle, Shams ul-Hassan Faruqi. Back in Islamabad, I went to see him.

    A sprightly old geologist, Faruqi works from a cramped office filled with coloured rocks and dusty computers. Over tea and biscuits he described a strange encounter with his niece in January 2008, six months before she was captured in Afghanistan.

    It started, he said, when a white car carrying a burka-clad woman pulled up outside his gate. Beckoning him to approach, he recognised her by her voice. “Uncle, I am Aafia,” he recalled her saying. But she refused to leave the car and insisted they move to the nearby Taj Mahal restaurant to talk. Amid whispers, her story tumbled out.

    Siddiqui told him she had been in both Pakistani and American captivity since 2003, but was vague on the details. “I was in the cells but I don’t know in which country, or which city. They kept shifting me,” she said. Now she had been set free but remained under the thumb of intelligence officials based in Lahore. They had given her a mission: to infiltrate al-Qaida in Pakistan. But, Siddiqui told her uncle, she was afraid and wanted out. She begged him to smuggle her into Afghanistan into the hands of the Taliban. “That was her main point,” he recalled. “She said: ‘I will be safe with the Taliban.'”

    That night, Siddiqui slept at a nearby guesthouse, and stayed with her uncle the next day. But she refused to remove her burka. Faruqi said he caught a glimpse of her just once, while eating, and thought her nose had been altered. “I asked her, ‘Who did plastic surgery on your face?’ She said, ‘nobody’.”

    On the third day, Siddiqui vanished again.

    Amid the blizzard of allegations about Siddiqui, the most crucial voice is yet to be heard – her own. The trial, due to start in January, has suffered numerous delays. The longest was due to a six-month psychiatric evaluation triggered by defence claims that Siddiqui was “going crazy” – prone to crying fits and hallucinations involving flying infants, dark angels and a dog in her cell. “She’s in total psychic pain,” said her lawyer, Dawn Cardi, claiming that she was unfit to stand trial.

    But at the Texas medical centre where the tests took place, Siddiqui refused to co-operate. “I can’t hear you. I’m not listening,” she told one doctor, sitting on the floor with her fingers in her ears. Others reported that she refused to speak with Jews, that she manipulated health workers and perceived herself to “be a martyr rather than a prisoner”. Last July three of four experts determined she was malingering – faking a psychiatric illness to avoid an undesirable outcome. “She is an intelligent and at times manipulative woman who showed goal-directed and rational thinking,” reported Dr Sally Johnson.

    Judge Richard Berman ruled that Siddiqui “may have some mental health issues” but was competent to stand trial.

    Back in Pakistan Siddiqui has become a cause celebre. Newspapers write unquestioningly about her “torture”, parliament has passed resolutions, placard-waving demonstrators pound the streets and the government is spending $2m on a top-flight defence. High-profile supporters include the former cricketer Imran Khan and the Taliban leader Hakumullah Mehsud who has affectionately described Siddiqui as a “sister in Islam”.

    The unquestioning support is a product of public fury at US-orchestrated “disappearances”, of which there have been hundreds in Pakistan, and deep scepticism about the American account of her capture. Few Pakistanis believe a frail 5ft 3in, 40kg woman could disarm an American soldier; fewer still think she would be carrying bomb booklets, chemicals and target lists.

    But there are critics, too, albeit silent ones. A Musharraf-era minister with previous oversight of Siddiqui’s case told me it was “full of bullshit and lies”.

    Two weeks ago the Obama administration introduced a fresh twist, when it announced that next year (or in 2011) five Guantanamo Bay detainees will be tried in the same New York courthouse, a few blocks from the World Trade Centre. One of them is Siddiqui’s second husband, Ammar al-Baluchi, also known as Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, who stands accused of financing the 9/11 attacks.

    But while the Guantanamo detainees will be tried for their part in mass terrorism, Siddiqui’s case focuses on a minor controversy – whether she fired a gun at a soldier in an Afghan police station. And so the big questions may not be probed: whether the ISI or CIA abducted Siddiqui in 2003, what she did afterwards, and where her two missing children are now. In fact the framing of the charges raises a new question: if Siddiqui was such a dangerous terrorist five years ago, why is she not being charged as one now? A senior Pakistani official, speaking on condition of strict anonymity, offered a tantalising explanation.

    In the world of counter-espionage, he said, someone like Siddiqui is an invaluable asset. And so, he speculated, sometime over the last five years she may have been “flipped” – turned against militant sympathisers – by Pakistani or American intelligence. “It’s a very murky world,” he said.

    “Maybe the Americans have no charges against her. Maybe they don’t want to compromise their sources of information. Or maybe they don’t want to put that person out in the world again. The thing is, you’ll never really know.”

  7. Jang/The News Story [now removed] : Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s husband breaks his silence after six years – Wednesday, February 18, 2009 – Claims most reports in the local media are false, suspects his two ‘missing’ children are in Karachi – By Aroosa Masroor
    ’عافیہ نے جہاد کرنے پر زور ڈالا‘

    احمد رضا
    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، کراچی
    وقتِ اشاعت: Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, 21:32 GMT 02:32 PST

    ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے مجھ پر دباؤ ڈالا کہ وہ امریکہ کے خلاف جہاد لڑنے افغانستان جائیں: امجد خان
    امریکہ میں قید پاکستانی شہری ڈاکٹر عافیہ کے سابق شوہر امجد خان نے دعویٰ کیا ہے کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ کے شدت پسندوں سے تعلقات تھے اور وہ انہیں بھی مجاہد کی روپ میں دیکھنا چاہتی تھیں لیکن ان کے انکار کرنے پر طلاق لے لی۔
    بی بی سی اردو سروس سے بات کرتے ہوئے انہوں نے اپنے تین بچوں کی صحت اور زندگی کے بارے میں تشویش کا اظہار کیا اور کہا کہ وہ اپنے بچے واپس لینے کے لئے عدالت کا دروازہ کھٹکھٹائیں گے۔

    امجد خان نے دعویٰ کیا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ کو جہاد کا شوق تھا اور ان کے بعض پاکستانی شدت پسندوں سے رابطے بھی تھے۔

    ان کے دعوے کے مطابق ان کی سابقہ اہلیہ کا دہشتگردی کے شبے میں امریکی حکام کے ہاتھوں گرفتار ہونے والے پاکستانی شہریوں عزیر پراچہ، عمار بلوچی اور ماجد خان کے ساتھ رابطہ تھا۔ انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ عزیر پراچہ کو امریکی عدالت القاعدہ کو مالی اور مادی امداد فراہم کرنے کے الزام میں تیس سال قید کی سزا بھی دے چکی ہے جبکہ عمار بلوچی اور ماجد خان قید میں ہیں۔

    انہوں نے اس بارے میں مزید تفصیل بتانے اور اپنی تصویر کھنچوانے سے معذرت کرلی۔

    ان کے بقول وہ طلاق سے پہلے ڈاکٹر عافیہ کو مسلسل یہ بات سمجھانے کی کوشش کرتے رہے کہ شدت پسندی کا اسلام سے کوئی تعلق نہیں لیکن وہ ان کی بات نہیں مانتی تھیں۔

    امجد خان نے یہ بھی دعویٰ کیا کہ گیارہ ستمبر دو ہزار ایک کو امریکہ پر ہوئے حملوں کے بعد ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے ان پر یہ دباؤ بھی ڈالا کہ وہ امریکہ کے خلاف جہاد لڑنے افغانستان جائیں لیکن وہ اس پر تیار نہیں ہوئے۔

    انہوں نے بتایا کہ انہوں نے جون دو ہزار دو میں ڈاکٹر عافیہ کی رہنمائی کے لئے کراچی کے ایک بڑے دینی مدرسے کے مفتی رفیع عثمانی کو لائے اور مفتی رفیع عثمانی کا کہنا تھا کہ ان دونوں پر جہاد فرض نہیں ہے لیکن عافیہ نے ان کی یہ بات تسلیم نہیں کی اور کچھ ہفتے بعد طلاق لے لی۔

    امجد خان نے اس تاثر کو غلط قرار دیا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ اور ان کے تینوں بچے احمد، مریم اور سلیمان سال دو ہزار تین میں کراچی سے خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے اہلکاروں نے حراست میں لیے تھے۔ ان کے مطابق معاملہ اسکے برعکس ہے۔

    ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے خود کو بچانے کے لئے افغانستان جانے سے پہلے اپنی پلاسٹک سرجری کرا کے چہرہ بدل لیا تھا اور وہ وہاں صالحہ کے نام سے مقیم تھیں۔ عافیہ کے اہل خانہ مجھے میرے بیٹے احمد سے ملنے نہیں دے رہے ہیں جبکہ دوسرے دو بچوں کی زندگیوں کے بارے میں بھی میں فکرمند ہوں اور نہیں معلوم کہ وہ کہاں ہیں۔

    امجد خان

    پچھلے سال افغانستان کے حکام کی جانب سے ڈاکٹر عافیہ کی بہن ڈاکٹر فوزیہ کے حوالے کیے گئے اپنے بڑے بیٹے احمد کا تذکرہ کرتے انہوں نے کہا افغانستان کی انٹیلیجنس ایجنسی کے چیف جنرل فراحی کا بیان نیویارک ٹائمز نے شائع کیا تھا کہ احمد نے انہیں بتایا ہے کہ وہ اور ڈاکٹر عافیہ سترہ جولائی دو ہزار آٹھ کو گرفتاری سے کچھ دن پہلے ہی افغانستان پہنچے تھے۔
    ’ڈاکٹر عافیہ کے ماموں فاروقی صاحب جو اسلام آباد میں رہتے ہیں انہوں نے بھی ایک اخبار میں اپنے ایک مضمون میں یہ بات بتائی ہے کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ ان سے جنوری دو ہزار آٹھ میں اسلام آباد میں ملیں اور تین دن ان کے گھر رہیں۔ اس دوران انہوں نے اس خواہش کا بھی اظہار کیا کہ وہ افغانستان جانا چاہتی ہیں۔ اس سے تو یہی ظاہر ہوتا ہے کہ وہ پاکستان میں تھیں اور آزاد تھیں۔‘

    امجد خان کا کہنا ہے کہ عافیہ نے طلاق کے بعد ان کے ساتھ ہوئے اس تحریری معاہدے کی پاسداری نہیں کی جس میں طے پایا تھا کہ انہیں اپنے بچوں کی کفالت اور وقتاً فوقتاً ملنے کی اجازت ہوگی۔ ان کا دعویٰ ہے کہ عافیہ 2003ء میں بچوں سمیت جان بوجھ کرغائب ہوگئی تھیں تاکہ خود کو امریکی حکام کے ہاتھوں گرفتاری سے بچا سکیں۔

    ’مارچ 2003ء میں جب ایف بی آئی نے ہم دونوں کے مطلوب ہونے کا الرٹ بھیجا تو پاکستانی ایجنسیوں نے مجھ سے رابطہ کیا اور کہا کہ آپ اور ڈاکٹر عافیہ جو بھی بات ہے صاف صاف بتادیں اور اپنے آپ کو کلیئر کروالیں۔‘

    عافیہ کے اہل خانہ مجھے میرے بیٹے احمد سے ملنے نہیں دے رہے ہیں
    انہوں نے بتایا کہ وہ پاکستان کی خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے بعض افسران کے سامنے پیش ہوئے اور ان کے پاس جو بھی معلومات تھیں وہ انہیں دیں جس کے بعد انہیں جانے دیا گیا۔ لیکن عافیہ پیش ہونے کے بجائے بچوں سمیت غائب ہوگئیں۔

    ’ڈاکٹر عافیہ نے خود کو بچانے کے لئے افغانستان جانے سے پہلے اپنی پلاسٹک سرجری کرا کے چہرہ بدل لیا تھا اور وہ وہاں صالحہ کے نام سے مقیم تھیں۔ عافیہ کے اہل خانہ مجھے میرے بیٹے احمد سے ملنے نہیں دے رہے ہیں جبکہ دوسرے دو بچوں کی زندگیوں کے بارے میں بھی میں فکرمند ہوں اور نہیں معلوم کہ وہ کہاں ہیں۔‘

    انہوں نے کہا کہ اپنے بچوں کو واپس تحویل میں لینے کے لئے انہوں نے عافیہ کے منظر عام سے غائب ہونے کے بعد 2003ء میں کراچی کی عدالت میں مقدمہ داخل کیا تھا۔ اس مقدمے کی سماعت کے دوران ڈاکٹر عافیہ کی والدہ نے یہ حلفیہ بیان دیا تھا کہ ڈاکٹر عافیہ اور ان کے بچے ایف بی آئی کی تحویل میں ہیں اور خیریت سے ہیں۔

    ان کے بقول اسکے بعد عدالت نے مقدمہ خارج کردیا تھا۔ امجد خان نے کہا کہ وہ اپنے بیٹے احمد اور دیگر دو لاپتہ بچوں کی بازیابی کے لئے جلد ہی عدالت کا دروازہ کھٹکھٹائیں گے۔

  8. “IN LAWS” OF AAFIA????

    Profile: Al-Qaeda ‘kingpin’ Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who faces charges in connection with the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, is regarded as one of the most senior operatives in Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.
    The Pentagon says he has admitted to being responsible “from A to Z” for the attacks in New York and Washington.
    At a hearing to determine whether he was an “enemy combatant” who should remain in detention at Guantanamo Bay, he also reportedly said he had personally decapitated kidnapped US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 and admitted to a role in 30 plots.
    He was captured in Pakistan in March 2003 and sent to the US detention centre in Cuba in 2006.
    He was indicted in 1996 with plotting to blow up 11 or 12 American airliners flying from south-east Asia to the United States in January, 1995.
    According to the transcripts released, the self-proclaimed head of al-Qaeda’s military committee admitted to:
    The organisation, planning, follow-up and execution of the 9/11 operation
    Responsibility for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the bombing of nightclubs in Bali in 2002 and a Kenyan hotel in the same year
    Responsibility for the failed attempt by the so-called shoe bomber, Richard Reid, to bring down an American plane
    Plots to attack Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf and Big Ben in London, to hit targets in Israel, and to blow up the Panama Canal
    A plot to hit towers in the US cities of Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and the Empire State Building in New York, and to attack US nuclear power stations
    Plots to assassinate the late Pope John Paul II and former US President Bill Clinton
    He said he had used his own “blessed right hand” to behead Daniel Pearl, according to Pentagon papers.
    US university
    Mr Mohammed was due to face a military trial at Guantanamo Bay, along with four other suspects in the case. But he is now expected to be moved to New York for a civilian trial in a federal court.

    Terror mastermind captured
    How al-Qaeda ‘chief’ caught
    Official documents have shown that he was subjected to waterboarding – or simulated drowning – 183 times in 2003, before this interrogation technique was banned.
    Correspondents say the issue of admissibility of evidence may arise during a civilian trial.
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is believed to have been born in either 1964 or 1965 in Kuwait into a family originally from the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan.
    He is said to be fluent in Arabic, English, Urdu and Baluchi.
    He graduated in 1986 from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the US.
    In the late 1980s he moved to Pakistan’s north-western city of Peshawar, where he became acquainted with Bin Laden.
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed first achieved notoriety with the discovery of the plot to blow up US airliners over the Pacific in 1995 – known as Operation Bojinka.
    The plan was reportedly foiled when police found incriminating computer files during their investigation into a separate plot to assassinate the Pope.
    11 September
    After the 2001 attacks on Washington and New York which killed more than 3,000 people, US officials raised the reward on his head.
    They believe the Kuwaiti co-ordinated the attacks and transferred money that was used to pay for the hijackings.
    Mr Mohammed is the uncle of Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted in 1997 of bombing the World Trade Center four years earlier.
    The Kuwaiti militant’s arrest marked one of the most important breakthroughs in the fight against al-Qaeda.
    Terrorism and al-Qaeda expert Rohan Gunaratna described him as a “highly experienced organiser of terrorist attacks across international borders, one of an elite group capable of such events”.
    It is not just the Americans and the Pakistanis who wanted information from him.
    The French magistrate Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere issued an arrest warrant for him in connection with a suicide bomb attack on a synagogue in the Tunisian resort island of Djerba in 2002.
    And the Australians have been interested, because of their investigation into the Bali bombing in 2002 in which 202 people died.
    At a pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo Bay in December 2008, Mr Mohammed said he wanted to plead guilty to all charges against him.

  9. Jamat-e-Islami Links

    Terror mastermind captured – Terror mastermind captured – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is thought to be the man who masterminded the attacks on 11 September. His capture in Pakistan was seen as a key success in the US fight to counter al-Qaeda. BBC News Online presents key video reports following the arrest. Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 22:56 GMT

  10. Jamat-e-Islami Links

    ‘THE MASTERMIND’ For smug KSM, federal court could be perfect arena By Peter Finn Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, November 14, 2009

    When two planes struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, Khalid Sheik Mohammed was sitting in an Internet cafe in Karachi, Pakistan, monitoring the attacks. At first, Mohammed later told CIA interrogators, he was disappointed. He said that he expected the towers to crumble immediately and that he feared they might not fall at all.

    After the towers came down, Mohammed returned to a hideaway flat in the city. There, according to newly disclosed details from U.S. officials, he and a number of associates, including Ramzi Binalshibh, al-Qaeda’s liaison with the Sept. 11 hijackers, gathered to watch coverage on international news channels.

    Through the night in Pakistan, the men embraced repeatedly in celebration, marveling at their spectacular success and the humbling of the American giant.

    More than eight years later, Mohammed, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will soon be transferred to federal court in Manhattan, returning to a city that officials say he visited as a tourist while a student in North Carolina in the 1980s. The man widely known as KSM will arrive in New York as the most striking symbol of the Obama administration’s effort to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. He is also a central figure in the debate over harsh interrogation techniques, which were used repeatedly on Mohammed in a bid to force him to divulge intelligence — which can now be invoked at his trial.

    While at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held since September 2006, Mohammed has said he wants to be executed so that he can die a martyr. It is unclear whether he will maintain that position in U.S. District Court. But his trial will probably chart the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, from the conspiracy’s beginnings in the mountains of Afghanistan, where Mohammed proposed the plot in a meeting with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, to the dark recesses of the CIA’s secret prisons, where he spent more than three years.

    ‘I am the mastermind’

    By all accounts, the spotlight during what would be the biggest terrorism trial in U.S. history would provide Mohammed, a man of no small ego, with the kind of attention he craves. A showman, he has reveled in a number of appearances at Guantanamo Bay, tossing self-aggrandizing broadsides from his perch at the front of a courtroom and then retreating into self-satisfied smiles.

    “I know him well, and if he gets his way in federal court, it will be a circus,” said Charles D. “Cully” Stimson, who was deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs in the Bush administration. “The court will have to rein in his speechifying and keep the focus on his criminal behavior.”

    The 9/11 Commission Report, discussing Mohammed’s terrorist ambitions, called him a “self-cast star.”

    “I am the mastermind of 9/11, not Osama bin Laden,” he said in one court hearing.

    His vanity has also surfaced. He once complained that a courtroom sketch artist had drawn his nose too big. The rendering of the proboscis was adjusted.

    Mohammed, 44, was born in Kuwait, the third son of Pakistani immigrants drawn to the oil-rich emirate, where his father became the imam of a mosque serving Pakistanis. Mohammed said he was a radical from a young age, asserting in a statement he gave to the CIA after his capture that he and nephew Ramzi Yousef — convicted in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center — had torn down the Kuwaiti flag at their elementary school.

    By 16, Mohammed had joined the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group, and become “enamored of violent jihad at youth camps in the desert,” according to a detailed profile in the 9/11 Commission Report.

    But like other leading Sept. 11 conspirators, such as Mohamed Atta, he looked to the West to further his education. After high school, he enrolled at Chowan College (now University) in North Carolina. He transferred after one semester to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1986.

    The 9/11 Commission Report said Mohammed did not attract attention in the United States for any extremist beliefs. But a CIA document released this year said Mohammed’s “limited and negative experiences in the United States — which included a brief jail stay because of unpaid bills — almost certainly propelled him on his path to become a terrorist.”

    Mohammed lost his driver’s license in North Carolina after he got into an accident while driving without insurance, according to a U.S. official. He was later arrested in Kentucky and spent a night in jail for unpaid tickets and for driving with a revoked license.

    He told the CIA his contacts with Americans confirmed his view that the United States was a “debauched and racist country,” according to the agency document. Later, at Guantanamo Bay, he told one person who had contact with him that, in all his time in the United States, he had never touched an American, not even to shake hands.

    Conspiracy’s beginning

    After college, Mohammed traveled to Pakistan, where one of his brothers worked for a Kuwaiti charity, and immersed himself in the world of the anti-Soviet mujaheddin.

    In 1996, when he described his plot for a direct attack on the United States using aircraft as weapons, bin Laden listened but did not immediately commit, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. In late 1998, after al-Qaeda succeeded in bombing the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, bin Laden finally approved what the group came to refer to as the “planes operation.”

    Under Mohammed’s original plan for Sept. 11, 10 aircraft were to be hijacked. He was to have been aboard the only one not to crash, and after killing the male passengers he was to deliver a speech condemning U.S. support for Israel, as well as the Philippines and governments in the Arab world.

    The 9/11 Commission Report notes: “This vision gives a better glimpse of his true ambitions. This is theater, a spectacle of destruction with KSM as the self-cast star — the superterrorist.”

    “To be treated as a common criminal is the last thing Khalid Sheik Mohammed wants,” said Tom Malinowski, head of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch. “It disintegrates the warrior mystique that al-Qaeda promotes to sustain itself — a mystique that a military trial would have reinforced.”

    CIA’s ‘preeminent source’

    Mohammed was captured on March 1, 2003, at a safe house in Rawalpindi, a garrison town near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. The photograph that flashed across the world after the arrest was of a slovenly, overweight man. When Mohammed, an avid reader of press reports about him, later saw it, he was furious.

    He was quickly whisked out of Pakistan to a CIA “black site.” Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times in his first month in captivity, said he lied to his interrogators, or told them what he thought they already knew, to stop the torment. In time, he also cooperated with the CIA and became what the agency described as the “preeminent source” on al-Qaeda.

    Defenders of Bush administration interrogation policies have pointed to the intelligence Mohammed provided to justify the use of methods such as waterboarding. Others, including some CIA officials, say that there is no proof of cause and effect, and that the voluminous material amassed from Mohammed could have been acquired without coercion, specifically through the measured exploitation of his extraordinary ego.

    The braggadocio visible in his courtroom outbursts also led Mohammed to agree to lecture CIA agents in a classroom setting while in custody. But his time in prison has been marked by moments of despair, according to officials familiar with his detention. Those moments include the time he was given photographs of his children, two of whom were captured with him but now live in Iran with his wife.

    He has spent most of his time at Guantanamo Bay in prayer or reading in his cell. The routine has been broken only by visits to the gym, where he likes to jog in small circles, or conversations in the yard with the detainee in the adjoining space.

    Mohammed has said he is impatient to end the legal process.

    “This is what I wish: to be a martyr for a long time,” he said last year. “I will, God willing, have this.”

  11. Jamat-e-Islami Links

    Pakistan turns on itself By Syed Saleem Shahzad Aug 19, 2004

    KARACHI – Under immense pressure from the United States, a slow and gradual operation has begun in Pakistan against the strongest political voice of Islamists and the real mother of international Islamic movements, of which Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front is the spoiled child.

    In a surprise move this week, Pakistan’s federal minister of the interior, Faisal Saleh Hayat, listed a number of incidences in which members of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the premier fundamentalist party in the country, had been tied to al-Qaeda, and called on it to “explain these links”.

    “It is a matter of concern that Jamaat-e-Islami, which is a main faction of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal [MMA], has neither dissociated itself from its activists having links with the al-Qaeda network nor condemned their activities,” Faisal said, adding that “one could derive a meaning out of its silence”.

    The MMA is an alliance of six religious parties that gained unprecedented electoral victories in national elections in 2002. One of its members is the leader of the opposition in the Lower House, while the MMA controls the provincial government in North West Frontier Province. It also forms part of a coalition government in Balochistan province. The MMA has 67 seats in the 342-seat National Assembly, with just under a third of them held by the JI.

    Asia Times Online predicted that the JI would be targeted (Jihadi’s arrest a small step for Pakistan , Aug 10) and now contacts confirm that moves have already started against associates of the JI in its strongest political constituency, Karachi. The next phase will most likely be in Rawalpindi and southern Punjab. Several close affiliates are believed to have been arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) without charges being laid against them.

    The JI’s leader, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, subsequently denied that his party had any links with al-Qaeda or other militant organizations. “We do not believe in violence,” Qazi said. He criticized the government for making such accusations, saying it was taking directions from the US.

    Typical of those being arrested is Tariq Baig, a former president of the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba (a student organization ideologically born of the JI) who was picked up from his residence in central Karachi. According to witnesses, a few cars with black-tinted windows laid siege to his residence, and then heavily armed men in plain clothes took him away.

    Neighbors claim that Tariq had dissociated himself from the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba. He participated in the Afghan resistance when the ISI was motivating students to wage jihad against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. However, other sources say that he was arrested for making calls on his cell phone to people connected with militant organizations.

    During his press conference, Faisal cited some JI connections with al-Qaeda. He said that a woman named Malooka Khatoon, an activist of the JI, was arrested in Clifton, Karachi, on October 4, 2002. She revealed links with al-Qaeda leader and September 11 mastermind Khaled Shaikh Muhammad.

    Also, the house of former field-hockey Olympian Shahid Ali Khan had been used as a hideout by an al-Qaeda member. “And the wife of Shahid Ali Khan is a leading activist of Jamaat-e-Islami,” Faisal said.

    Attaur Rehman, an alleged leader of the Jundullah group which is believed to be behind the recent attack on the motorcade of the corps commander Karachi in which several army personnel were killed, was once the nazim (administrator) of the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba in the international relations department of Karachi University.

    The deciding factor in initiating action against the JI was video footage and the interrogation report of the confessions of two doctor brothers, cardiac surgeon Dr Akmal Waheed and orthopedic surgeon Arshad Waheed, sons of renowned educationalist Hafiz Waheeduddin Khan, who laid the foundation for the country’s largest teachers’ association, which takes its ideological inspiration from the JI.

    The doctors themselves were members of the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association, an affiliate of the JI. The video film and report have them admitting to raising funds for militants and treating fighters in South Waziristan tribal agency, besides helping the families of Arab jihadis return to their countries of origin after leaving Afghanistan. This evidence was handed to the US consulate in Karachi by the Sindh governor, Dr Ishratul Ibad, which in turn passed it on to Washington. Washington then applied maximum pressure on Islamabad to take action against the JI.

    Intelligence insiders tell Asia Times Online that initial operations are not targeted against the main JI structure, but at lower-rank workers suspected of involvement in underground militant activities. At the same time, once this operation starts, it will be inevitable that it extends to the highest level. Further, every JI leader is involved with senior army officers, both serving and retired, and they will not be spared in the process.

    The JI is not only the largest, most organized and most resourceful organization in the country, it has deeper roots in the establishment than any other outfit. Tackling it will surely open a Pandora’s box, and at the same time create a vicious backlash.

    The Jamaat-i-Islami’s deep roots
    The party was founded in 1941 in British India in Lahore by Syed Abul Ala Maududi (1903-79). Maududi was not a traditional cleric, he was editor of a daily newspaper and all his knowledge of religion was acquired from reading books, rather than studying at a seminary. He hailed from an elite spiritual family in Delhi, and his real contribution was his discovery of several philosophical concepts and terms in the Koran that gave birth to the present Islamic movements and their radical thought, which rejects traditional Islam and challenges Western capitalism, as well as socialism.

    To begin with, Maududi did not accept Islam as a religion – a term used by traditionalists in all societies, whether Christian, Jew or Muslim, when referring to divine guidance. Instead, Maududi introduced the Koranic term addin (the way of life). The Koran, he argued, never used din (way of life) alone. Whenever the Koran speaks about Islam it calls it addin .

    This conceptualization helped Maududi separate Islam from its traditional concepts, which only dealt with matters like rituals, appearances – wearing beards and caps – etc. He presented Islam on a much broader canvas in which socio-economic and political systems are all interlinked with Islam itself.

    He debunked the system of education in Islamic seminaries as well as in modern schools, advocating instead a system of education where all faculties, including the sciences and engineering, co-related with “the way of life”.

    He started debate in his magazine Tarjumanul Koran with contemporary intellectuals on the concepts of civilization and related them to the evolution of human thought and ideas and “the way of life”, rather than to the study of human races and their habits.

    Pulling all of his ideas together, he declared Islam a “movement” which struggles (jihad) to enforce “the way of life”. For Maududi, an Islamic state is a blessing for all irrespective of religion, caste and race under “the way of life”. Later, Maududi translated the Koran with an accompanying commentary, as if presenting it as the manifesto of a revolutionary movement.

    At this time, the middle of the 20th century, such presentation of Islam was highly unpopular and rejected in traditional circles. But traditional clerics were not Maududi’s target audience. Rather, he wanted to address Western-educated people, which he did, in effect presenting an Islam parallel to theories of the time, such as Marxism and capitalism.

    Maududi’s ideas began to take root in Pakistan’s elite class from the very inception of the nation in 1947, when it was carved out of British India, and steadily spread further across the social spectrum. This was separate from the development of the JI’s structures. In other words, at the beginning there was a twofold spread of Maududi’s thoughts: through the growth of the JI as a defined organization, and infiltration into intelligentsia circles and beyond.

    For instance, prominent educationalist Allama I I Qazi, the founder and the first vice chancellor of Sindh University, was never a member of the JI, but he was a main source in spreading Maududi’s writings. Internationally famed Pakistani constitutional expert A K Brohi was the first person in Pakistan’s early days to publicly reject the Koran as a source of law-making. Qazi introduced him to Maududi’s writings, and he remained an Islamist until the end. Similarly, top Pakistani bureaucrat-turned-journalist (and a former editor of Dawn newspaper) Altaf Gohar, a Marxist, read Maududi while in jail, and converted to Islam, and he became well-known for his lectures on television.

    This kind of influence continued to spread. The publisher of the Dawn Group of Newspapers, Hameed Haroon, recalls that by the 1970s the JI was characterized by its members and supporters coming from the brightest segments of society. Its influence in the country’s major media grew, as well as on campuses.

    It was not yet a political force, though. In 1970 the JI was wiped out in elections, gaining only four seats in the National Assembly. At the same time, the JI’s student wing, Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba, swept union elections in the universities of East Pakistan.

    The campuses became the JI’s main playing field, which it cultivated throughout Pakistan, and of course these students went on to join the establishment, including the army.

    General Zia ul-Haq’s 11-year rule (1977-88) proved a golden period for the JI as he officially promoted Maududi’s literature and Koranic commentary in the army. The result was that officers like retired Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul – whose duty it was to indoctrinate people – himself became indoctrinated with Maududi’s thoughts.

    This process continued, so much so that only a year ago, the ISI was forced to ask a major-general who was once a leader of the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba to speak with the MMA leadership when talks on the issue of President General Pervez Musharraf continuing to wear his uniform had become a hot political problem.

    In the field of mainstream politics, politicians who embraced Maududi’s thought ranged from Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan (many times president of Pakistani Kashmir and leader of the Muslim Conference) to the imprisoned acting president of the Pakistan Muslim League, Syed Javed Hashmi, to seasoned liberal politicians like Sardar Sher Baz Khan Mazari.

    The mother of international Islamic movements
    The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928, 13 years before the JI, by Hasanal Bana, who also presented Islam as a system, but he did not have the conceptualization to attract many educated people.

    Thus, by the late 1940s, Maududi’s ideas had fully penetrated the Muslim Brotherhood’s literature. Books written by the most popular Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Syed Qutub, show clear inspiration from Maududi. The Egyptian government objected to Pakistan in the 1960s for instigating trouble in Egypt when a prominent Brotherhood member, Saeed Ramadan al-Misri, visited the JI’s Lahore headquarters to learn how to integrate the revolutionary structure of the Brotherhood into mainstream national politics, like the JI.

    Similarly, the JI exported the same political restructuring and ideas to Iran. The ideologue of the Iranian revolution of 1979, Dr Ali Shariati, shows his complete inspiration from Maududi in his writings. So, too, the leader of the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, called Maududi an imam.

    How Pandora’s box will open
    The JI has always operated as a mainstream political party within the law of the land. This message was passed on and emphasized to other Islamic movements in the Arab world, especially in Egypt, where splinter groups emerged to work as underground organizations to topple the government. A late JI leader, Khurram Jah Morrad, was once stationed in London, where he tried to disengage the splinter groups from their activities and induce them to join the mainstream Muslim Brotherhood.

    During one of Maududi’s messages delivered on a visit to the US, where his son was employed as a hospital doctor, exiled leaders of international Islamic movements held big gatherings, where Maududi was invited to speak. A collection of these lectures is available in book form, and they show a complete condemnation of underground movements, and in a muted way Maududi instructed the participants to bring about changes from within the state, or in other words, become pro-establishment.

    “Islam is an open message. I request you with my heart for the sake of Allah, don’t indulge yourself in underground organizations. It brings enormous complications in which the real message of Islam is lost and it is quite contrary to the Prophet’s way of life. No matter how much oppression, executions come your way, don’t indulge in underground organizations.”

    In this manner, an apparent radical organization such as the JI became part and parcel of the Pakistani establishment.

    Its first real opportunity for this came in 1971 when India and Pakistan became embroiled over East Pakistan, where the Pakistan army had no local roots. The JI extended its help, thereby establishing the first nexus between the JI and the Pakistani army, which appeared in the shape of militias like al-Badr and al-Shams, which fought side-by-side with the Pakistan army against the Bengali rebellion and Indian invasion.

    The nexus deepened during the decade of the Soviet invasion on Afghanistan, starting in 1979. The JI’s Afghan connections were represented in the shape of two charismatic mujahideen, Ahmed Shah Masoud and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The present chief of JI, Qazi, a former college lecturer in geography, was involved with Afghanistan’s Islamic movement and coordinated closely with the ISI’s Afghan cell once he was elevated to general secretary of the party.

    Qazi was very much trusted by the ISI for his strategic view of Afghanistan. Indeed, when factions of the JI of Masoud and Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i-Islami began attacking each other’s interests, the ISI chose Qazi to resolve the dispute. So on Qazi’s advice, the anti-US Hekmatyar was preferred to receive ammunition and other goods, much of which, incidentally, originated in the US.

    The establishment of the Matabal Khidmat (an organization led by Dr Abdullah Azzam which later evolved into al-Qaeda) and jihadi training camps in Afghanistan for Arabs were all joint ventures in which the ISI and the JI were involved together.

    Also, the export of jihad to the Central Asian republics to pressure the USSR was a joint venture of the ISI, MI6 – British Secret Intelligence Service – the JI and and the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan. MI6 directly remitted money into an account in Qazi’s name, which he was to use to pump Islamic literature and money into the republics to incite the local Naqshbad circles (a Sufi group) to rebel against the communist governments.

    Similar projects were undertaken in Chechnya and Bosnia, in which the JI sent several of its members to fund local opposition movements. Several still hold key positions in the JI structure.

    So both within Pakistan – including in the army – and abroad, the JI has deep links. By taking on the JI in Pakistan, Musharraf could face a situation of virtual civil war.

  12. Jamat-e-Islami Links

    Khalid: A test for US credibility By Syed Saleem Shahzad Mar 6, 2003

    KARACHI – The circumstances surrounding the arrest in Pakistan and handing over to US authorities of a man said to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, a reportedly leading member of al-Qaeda, raise a number of important issues, not the least of which is the credibility of the US in its “war against terror”.

    Khalid himself is shrouded in mystery. He was reported to have been killed in Karachi in a bloody shootout with Pakistani security forces on September 11, 2002 (See A chilling inheritance of terror) and there is dispute over whether or not he was one of the key planners of the September 11 attacks on the US a year earlier.

    There is even doubt over Khalid’s nationality. Some say he is Pakistani, others that he is a Kuwaiti. Certainly, though, he does appear to be of Pakistani origin, probably Baloch, and raised in Kuwait. He is thought to have been in Pakistan for about two-and-a-half years, well before September 11, 2001.

    Pakistani and US intelligence officials were alerted to his presence in the country when he gave an interview to the Qatar-based al-Jazeera television station shortly before the first anniversary of September 11. On the strength of intercepted communications through ordinary mobile phones as well as satellite telephones, the net closed on Khalid.

    Dead or alive?
    According to an official of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Khalid was followed from somewhere in the eastern district of Karachi to the Defense Housing Authority (Phase II, commercial area), situated in the southern part of the city near Clifton beach. There he entered a two-storey building, which was then surrounded by ISI and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials. They were joined by hundreds of police vehicles and Pakistan Rangers. The total number of law enforcement agents at that time was 1,000 or more.

    The following is a reconstruction of events that were widely reported in the Pakistani print and electronic media, and information gathered from intelligence sources.

    The building stands alone, with no access to the ones next door. Initially, a few plainclothed officials (including a major of the ISI and a civilian inspector) entered the building and urged the people inside to evacuate. A grenade was then thrown, which injured the major and the inspector, forcing them to retreat.

    Fresh troops then entered the building, and a fierce gun battle broke out. At this point, according to an eyewitness, a car carrying a few “white people” was seen speeding away from the scene. Tear gas was then fired into the building, and the shooting subsided.

    Pakistan Rangers along with many plainclothed officials and police surged into the building and fired at two men in one of the flats, who were standing with their hands up. One of these turned out to be Ramzi Binalshibh, who had wanted to join the 19 hijackers for the attacks on the US but who had been unable to get a US visa. He was taken into custody.

    Nine other suspected terrorists were captured, and two were killed. A woman FBI official examined the bodies, and, as reported by an ISI official, suddenly exclaimed, “You have killed Khalid Shaikh Mohammad.” The woman then instructed that a finger be cut off the body, which she took away, presumably for a DNA test.

    Khalid’s wife and child were taken away to an ISI safe house in the vicinity where they were interrogated by the FBI, and it is said that the woman identified one of the bodies as Khalid. Several weeks after this incident, the then interior minister, Moinuddin Haider, stated in the country’s largest Urdu-language newspaper that Khalid’s widow had been handed over to Egyptian authorities.

    Apparently, neither of the bodies was buried, a departure from usual custom, and they were kept in a private mortuary operated by the Edhi Home, a charity organization. After several weeks, some women, said to be widows and mothers of those killed in Kashmir and Afghanistan, launched a protest in front of the mortuary for the bodies to be handed over.

    Again, according to Pakistan print media reports, these protest turned into big demonstrations which forced the authorities to issue a statement that the bodies had been buried in a local, unidentified, graveyard.

    ISI officials close to the case at this time were convinced, as were the FBI, that Khalid had been killed. But they chose not to disclose the death as they wanted other al-Qaeda members to attempt to remain in contact with him through the recovered satellite telephones, mobile phones and laptop computers.

    Sources who had been involved in the shootout and subsequent events were taken off all al-Qaeda operations, and then the FBI stopped using the ISI offices in Karachi and moved into a separate building where one ISI colonel and a major were deployed for coordination purposes only.

    After this, reports began to emerge that the FBI agents were claiming that they had intercepted calls from Khalid himself, originating in Karachi, and they were insisting that he was alive.

    On the basis of these intercepted calls, a raid was conducted in the outskirts of Karachi on the suburb of Gulshan-I-Maymar, a thinly populated region, especially Block W, where, after some heavy gunfire, several Arabs were arrested.

    The next day, some Pakistani authorities claimed in newspapers that one of the people who had escaped, although injured, was Khalid. People in the neighborhood who witnessed the siege, though, say that with the building surrounded and more than 600 police and Rangers in attendance, it would have been very difficult for anyone to escape. After this, Khalid’s name seldom made the news as the US-Iraq issue grabbed the headlines.

    Back in the news
    Then it was announced that on March 1 that Khalid had been captured during a raid on an apartment in Rawalpindi, the sister city of the capital, Islamabad.

    First reports said that he had been handed over to the US, who took him to their military base at Diego Garcia. This was denied, and there were reports that the US had been given someone other than Khalid. Later, he was said to be in US custody at Bagram airport in Afghanistan.

    In Pakistan there have been reports described as coming from Taliban sources – members of the former government in Afghanistan who are now hiding in Pakistan, who deny that Khalid has been captured. One says, “We know exactly where the guy they’re claiming to have captured is.”

    According to the local media, Khalid was seized while in the house of one Ahmed Abdul Qudoos, who, it turns out, is a mentally feeble person – he is also being held in custody as an al-Qaeda member – and as such receives a regular stipend from a United Nations organization.

    “It was published in the national press on the very first day after this raid that the police conducted two raids in Rawalpindi and arrested Arabs. I believe that they arrested these people from some other location and showed them arrested at the residence of Ahmed Abdul Qudoos, who is a relative of a leader of the Jamaat-i-Islami’s women’s wing,” the chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Karachi, Dr Merajul Huda, told Asia Times Online.

    The Jamaat-i-Islami is Pakistan’s most prominent Islamic party and a part of an ultraconservative coalition that gained an unprecedented number of seats in last October’s elections, largely on the strength of a virulently anti-American platform.

    On Tuesday, Pakistani authorities officially admitted the handover of Khalid. “We do not know what he has done, but since we are convinced that he is KSM [Khalid Shaikh Mohammad] we have handed him over to a country [US] where he is wanted,” said Pakistan’s Information Minister, Shiekh Rasheed Ahmed.

    On the first anniversary of September 11, the Bush administration was under fire over poor results in its “war on terror”, with no significant arrests having taken place. Precisely on September 11, 2002, the drama involving Khalid and Ramzi Binalshibh began unfolded in Karachi.

    Now, at a time when the US is likely to have to delay its war on Iraq a little longer due to Turkey’s about-turn on US troops in its country and the upcoming UN vote, another coincidence occurs involving Khalid.

    Clearly, no one has the final word on whether Khalid is dead, was captured earlier, or is still free.

    What can be expected though, are reports establishing some degree of Iraqi involvement with al-Qaeda operations, and stepped up operations across the world against that network. For if this does not happen, the Khalid arrest could be seen as just one more hoax in the US-led “war on terror”.

  13. Missing US Connections [why in every such US Citizens are involved] Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s disappearance The following is a chronological account of Dr Siddiqi’s disappearance and the current status of the situation: 30 March 2004 Tuesday

    Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s disappearance

    In the first week of April 2003 several news items were published in national dailies and broadcast from private TV channel regarding the sudden disappearance of Dr Aafia Siddiqui form Karachi as of other Pakistanis who have been handed over to the Americans. The following is a chronological account of Dr Siddiqi’s disappearance and the current status of the situation:

    1) Dr Siddiqui, who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, for about 10 years and did her PhD in genetics, returned to Pakistan in 2002. Having failed to get a suitable job, she again visited the US on a valid visa in February 2003 to search for a job and to submit an application to the US immigration authorities. She moved there freely and came back to Karachi by the end of February 2003 after renting a post office box in her name in Maryland for the receipt of her mail. It has been claimed by the FBI (Newsweek International, June 23, 2003, issue) that the box was hired for one Mr Majid Khan, an alleged member of Al Qaeda residing in Baltimore.

    2) Throughout March 2003 flashes of the particulars of Dr Siddiqui were telecast/relayed with her photo on American TV channels and radios painting her as a dangerous Al Qaeda person needed by the FBI for interrogation.

    3) On learning of the above campaign of the FBI about her, she went underground in Karachi and remained so till her kidnapping, apparently by FBI-hired intelligence personnel, at the end of March.

    4) Between March 25 and March 31, she rang up her mother from some location in Karachi informing her about her intention to go to Rawalpindi. The following day an Urdu daily published the news of her arrest by the police while she was on her way to Karachi airport. At the time of her ‘kidnapping’ she was accompanied by her three children, aged three-and-a-half months to seven years.

    5) On April 1, 2003, a small news item was published in an Urdu daily with reference to a press conference of Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat when, in reply to a question regarding the arrest of Dr Siddiqui, he said: “She has not been arrested.”

    6) There was another news item in an Urdu daily on April 2 regarding another press conference when the interior minister said Dr Siddiqui was connected to Al Qaeda and that she had not been arrested as she was absconding. He added: “You will be astonished to know about the activities of Dr Aafia (Siddiqui).”

    7) A motorcyclist in plainclothes knocked at the door of the mother of Dr Siddiqui (Mrs Ismat Siddiqui) and told her: “We know that you are connected to higher-ups. But it would be better for you if you keep quiet regarding your daughter. She and her children are OK with us.”

    8) The June 23, 2003, issue of Newsweek International has been exclusively devoted to the so-called Al Qaeda. The core of the issue is an article “Al Qaeda’s Network in America”. The article has three photographs of so-called Al Qaeda members – Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Dr Aafia Siddiqui and Ali S. Al Marri of Qatar who has studied in the US like Dr Siddiqui and had long gone back to his homeland. In this article, which has been authored by eight journalists who had access to FBI records, the only charge levelled against Dr Aafia Siddiqui is that “she rented a post-office box to help a former resident of Baltimore named Majid Khan (alleged Al Qaeda suspect) to help establish his US identity. She was also ‘supposed’ to support other Al Qaeda operatives as they entered the United States.”

    9) The article states that Dr Siddiqui was arrested in Pakistan contrary to the repeated statements of our interior minister.

    10) On 30.12.03, Dr Fawzia Siddiqui, elder sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, saw Mr Faisal Saleh Hayat at Islamabad with Mr Ejazul Haq, MNA, regarding the whereabouts of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Dr Fawzia Siddiqui is a neurologist, studied at and did her doctorate in the US. She was head of the neurology department at Johns Hopkins.

    Mr Faisal Saleh Hayat told Dr Fawzia and Mr Ejazul Haq that according to his information Dr Aafia Siddiqui had already been released and that Dr Fawzia Siddiqui should go home and wait for some phone call from her sister. But, alas, that phone call has not yet come (third week of March) and the whole family of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, including the author of these lines, are in a state of severe mental torture.

    S. H. FARUQI


  14. CIA’s ‘preeminent source’

    Is There More to the Capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Than Meets the Eye?

  15. Media is responsible for raising the issue of civil-military disconnect in flood management. There is a negative campaign to weaken government’s stance and democracy. There are interest groups. One of the very large media interest group has an 800 crore rupee liability and does not want to pay it. Pakistan People’s Party and the political powers of the day cannot afford that any institution or individual or class of media dictate to them, that tomorrow’s prime minister will be made by them. There is a challenge by the rightist forces to democracy. Democracy per se does not suit the rightists. And these forces get together and then there are interest groups. Pakistan People’s Party and the political powers of the day cannot afford that any institution or individual or class of media dictate to them that tomorrow’s prime minister will be made by them.

  16. […] of Dr. Aafia by news media. If you will recall, Fasi made a startling claim a week ago that TV anchors were deliberately misreporting the Dr. Aafia case. This week, he continues his expose by analyzing several shows and asking an excellent question: […]

  17. Disclosure Agreement…

    […]Are TV Anchors Honestly Reporting Dr Aafia's Case? | Pakistan Media Watch –– پاکستان میڈیا واچ[…]…

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