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Malala and Dr Aafia

October 26, 2012


THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Aafia vs Malala’ by Shafiq Murad (Oct 21). I am dismayed after reading the letter as the writer, in an attempt to criticise the attack on young activist Malala Yousufzai, has tried to degrade Dr Aafia Siddiqui without going into the ground realities of her case.

The writer has simply slandered Dr Aafia by calling her first a woman ‘working for anti-Pakistan terrorists’ and then ‘an American terrorist’.

This is such an obnoxious attempt to malign a highly qualified, dignified and patriotic persons, who was picked up from Karachi, and brutally tortured, convicted and then sentenced for 86 years on American soil after a controversial court hearing with a highly dubious allegation that she attempted to shoot at an American soldier.

One of her sons has also been disappeared from the scene with the reports that he might have been secretly tortured and murdered. In reality, the actual crime of Dr Aafia was that she only attempted to present Islam and Pakistan in good light in the international media which could not be tolerated by some anti-Pakistan elements. Even former American Attorney General Ramsey Clarke has backed the release of Dr Aafia while pledging her innocence. Our Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also vowed on numerous occasions to bring Dr Aafia back.

The writer also says that ‘patriotic Pakistanis are angry over the glorification of an American terrorist’, which is a claim that truly belies logic.

In another comment, the writer has laid the responsibility of plastering Dr Aafia’s photos all over the country on ‘pro-terrorism parties’ though, in reality, any average Pakistani who even has little knowledge about the case has sympathy with Dr Aafia, her family and wants her release.

The writer should not have presented Dr Aafia in wrong light to show his support for Malala. While we all are angry and saddened on the attack on Malala and pray for her speedy recovery, let us also have sympathies and prayers for other deserving oppressed ones who may not be getting the same media attention like Malala.

REHAN SOHAIL     Karachi

It’s our loss

WHILE listening to the diverse views of people on the attack on Malala and the drone strikes, the only common thread that comes to mind is that we are all Pakistani.

Whose loss is this? When drone strikes kill innocents or terrorists kill or try to kill innocent people, it is our loss.

The attack on Malala is as condemnable as drone strikes. Attack on Malala is a plan to kill our sense of optimism. Drone strikes are dividing us.

As a Muslim and Pakistani I condemn the killing of human beings wherever and by whoever it is done. We need to have a consensus before it is too late. Why are we differentiating between matters of Malala and the drone strikes when both are a matter of our identity as a nation? United we stand divided we fall.