Jamaat chief slams CIA’s treatment of prisoners

Updated December 11, 2014

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Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq addressing the party's Punjab organisational convention at Mansoora.     — INP
Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq addressing the party's Punjab organisational convention at Mansoora. — INP

PESHAWAR: Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq urged the government on Wednesday to tell the nation what steps it had taken to repatriate Pakistani prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.

Condemning the CIA’s treatment of prisoners, the JI leader said he would like to know how many Pakistanis were still in the US custody at Guantanamo and Bagram and what steps the government was taking to bring them home.

Commenting on a report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee on CIA’s interrogation tactics, he said former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Mulla Abdus Salam Zaeef had also recalled in his book the treatment meted out to him and other prisoners at Guantanamo.

Read: US Senate report assails CIA’s torture techniques

Mr Haq said he had met a man from Bajaur who had spent three and a half years in Guantanamo. “He was subjected to such brutal torture that he lost his eyesight. He had to be operated upon after his release to partially restore his vision.”

He said the man had gone to Afghanistan along with the leader of Tehreek-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammad to fight invaders there.

“The kind of treatment they (Americans) have meted out to humans no-one can even think of inflicting on animals,” Mr Haq said, adding that the Americans forgot about human rights and democracy when it came to serving their own interests.

He said the CIA shamed the devil by subjecting prisoners to such perpetual torture as water-boarding and physical abuse and by denying them sleep. “They have humiliated and insulted humanity.”

The JI chief asked President Barack Obama, the CIA and all those involved in such practice to tender an apology to the victims of torture and ensure that this did not happen again.

He also called upon the US to shut down “torture centres” and urged human rights activists to raise their voice against the torture of prisoners.

Published in Dawn December 11th , 2014