Thursday, November 25, 2010
Thousands rally in Karachi over scientist jailed in US
Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in prison by a New York court on September 23.
She had been convicted of trying to kill US federal agents in Afghanistan.
Siddiqui vehemently denied all the charges against her during the trial, calling them “ridiculous” and insisting that she was framed, jailed, and tortured by US agents in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
According to her supporters, Siddiqui has been a prisoner of the US since her disappearance from Karachi in 2003.
There have been a series of protests in Pakistan over her case but the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)’s rally held five days after her sentence was the largest so far.
It was also the first time that a mainstream political party has called for the cognitive neuroscientists’ release.
The imprisoned scientist’s sister, Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, called on Pakistanis to continue their protest for her sister’s release.
She said she was positive that her sister would soon be back in Pakistan if the public pressure continued.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani described Siddiqui as a “daughter of the nation,” and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif promised to push for her release.
On February 18, President Asif Ali Zardari requested US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke that the US should consider repatriating Siddiqu under the Pakistan-US Prisoner Exchange Agreement.
On February 22, the Pakistani Senate passed a resolution expressing its grave concern over Siddiqui’s sentence, and demanding that the Government take effective steps including diplomatic measures to secure her immediate release.
Posted by IslamPolicy