The publication highlights the importance of the Afghan Peace Process along with how the Pakistani government could leverage their facilitation of successful US-Taliban talks to secure Aafia’s release, two independent events which, as this publication investigates, appear to be intertwined.

Ravale Mohydin 22 May 2019

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a 47 year old Pakistani neuroscientist who, along with her three children, Ahmed, Mariam and Suleman, disappeared from the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, in March 2003. Instead of fading into obscurity, however, the family has become internationally known. While Aafia was ‘Al Qaeda Mom’ for some, and a ‘daughter of Pakistan’ for others, she became ‘a political symbol, a political tool that everyone could latch on to’. A mysterious figure with most aspects of her life not fully known, this interview based report looks at five of the most important questions about Aafia’s life and imprisonment, in an attempt to shed light on the possibilities that may lie ahead for her against the background of ongoing US-Taliban talks as it uncovers many significant inconsistencies and loopholes associated with accounts of her disappearance and arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing as well as appeal. The report also juxtaposes the trajectory of her life in the US, return to Pakistan as well as her alleged engagement with Al-Qaeda with entirely unrelated allegations that she faced during her trial. Many questions surround her case and why she was never tried for terrorism when she made international headlines for being one. The publication highlights the importance of the Afghan Peace Process along with how the Pakistani government could leverage their facilitation of successful US-Taliban talks to secure Aafia’s release, two independent events which, as this publication investigates, appear to be intertwined. The report also questions whether Aafia was provided access to justice at all, especially as court cases against Pakistani diplomatic staff for embezzlement of funds allocated for Aafia Siddiqui’s trial were revealed during the writing of this report.

 

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