HRCP urges PM’s action over Pakistani women detained in Afghanistan, China

Press Release, 9 July 2008


Lahore: The Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the prime minister to intervene on behalf of two Pakistani women, one detained in China and the other at the US-run Bagram airbase detention centre in Afghanistan.


No one has seen the Pakistani woman detained at Bagram for the last four years, but a number of former prisoners at Bagram have confirmed a Pakistani woman prisoner at Bagram and claimed hearing her screams.


Reportedly registered as prisoner number 650, her state of mind or the extent of abuse or torture she has suffered remains unknown.


The government must use its status as a leading US ally in the so-called war on terror to get details about the detained woman from Washington and ensure that her illegal detention ends without delay, and she is brought to Pakistan as soon as possible.


The other woman, Ms. Zalkaf Begum, a resident of village Sahoke, Tehsil Nowshera Virkan, district Gujranwala, has been in detention in China for three months after losing her passport and overstaying her visa duration.


Her case was brought to the attention of Pakistan’s Consulate in Beijing, which took almost two months to issue an emergency passport for her deportation to Pakistan.


She does not have the financial means to pay for her travel back to Pakistan. The Chinese authorities will not pay for the cost of deportation and will continue to detain her until someone pays for the air ticket. The Pakistani Consulate advises that it has no funds for the air ticket. Ms. Zalkaf is in poor health.


It is the responsibility of Pakistan missions to assist the country’s citizens who find themselves in trouble in a foreign country. Funds must be released immediately so that she can be repatriated to Pakistan at the earliest.


A civilized country shall never abandon its citizens or allow them to be treated in this manner. The government must act decisively to ensure that the rights of Pakistani citizens detained abroad are duly respected.

Asma Jahangir, Chairperson

Iqbal Haider, Co-chairperson


6 thoughts on “HRCP urges PM’s action over Pakistani women detained in Afghanistan, China

  1. Its a shame for all Muslims to know about detention of our sisters. We must protest at all levels to make sure the sister from Bagram is released soonest.

    Further, I can not believe Pakistani embassy in China not issuing passport for the sister for 2 months and not arranging her fly back home. If someone has direct contact with them, I can pay for the travel cost of sister from China to back her homeland. Concerned persons may drop me an e-mail for details.

  2. Thanks to Brother Abdus Salam for your kindness.
    The lady in China was already deported back home by the Chinese authorities. Thanks to HRCP and their prompt courageous action pressuring the relevant departments and ministries.

  3. * Name: Aaifa Siddiqui
    * Nationality: Pakistani
    * Resident: USA/Pakistan
    * Married, three children, also missing

    UPDATE: 2006 Report shows US admits having Aafia.[download]
    Aaifia Siddique Aaifia Siddique Flyer Looking For Information

    (Cageprisoners) Aafia Siddiqui was born in Karachi, Pakistan, on March 2, 1972. She was one of three children of Mohammad Siddiqui, a doctor trained in England, and Ismet. She is a mother of three.

    Aafia moved to Texas in 1990 to be near her brother, and after spending a year at the University of Houston, transferred to MIT. Aafia then married Mohammed Amjad Khan, a medical student, and subsequently entered Brandeis University as a graduate student in cognitive neuroscience.

    Citing the difficulty of living as Muslims in the United States after 9/11, Aafia and her husband returned to Pakistan. They stayed in Pakistan for a short time, and then returned to the United States. They remained there until 2002, and then moved back to Pakistan.

    Some problems developed in their marriage, and Aafia was eight months pregnant with their third child when she and Khan were estranged. She and the children stayed at her mother’s house, while Khan lived elsewhere in Karachi.

    After giving birth to her son, Aafia stayed at her mother’s house for the rest of the year, returning to the US without her children around December 2002 to look for a job in the Baltimore area, where her sister had begun working at Sinai Hospital.

    Soon after Pakistani authorities arrested Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Aafia and her children disappeared. A report in the Pakistani Urdu press said that Aafia and her children had been seen being picked up by Pakistani authorities and taken into custody.

    According to Mrs. Siddiqui, Aafia left her mother’s house in Gulshan-e-Iqbal in a Metro-cab on March 30, to catch a flight for Rawalpindi, but never reached the airport. Inside sources claim that Aafia had been “picked-up” by intelligence agencies while on her way to the airport and initial reports suggest she was handed over to the FBI.

    Aafia Siddiqui had been missing for more than a year when the FBI put her photographs on its website. The press was told that she was an Al Qaeda facilitator. After an FBI conference, a newspaper broke the story linking the woman involved in the 2001 diamond trade in Liberia to Aafia. The family’s attorney, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, says the allegation was a blessing in disguise because it places Siddiqui somewhere at a specific time. She says she can prove Siddiqui was in Boston that week.

    She and her children have been missing since 2003. The FBI was given her name by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad under torture. At the time his family was also kidnapped, including his two young children. He knew that, and you can safely assume that they were used to coerce him. One year after her disappearance, the FBI posted her “FBI Seeking Information“.

    (From an informative article at I find that during the course of researching these detainees I begin to see patterns. It’s very very disturbing, because it points out just how far our government will go to support this “war on terror”. It’s beyond belief, The lies that have been manufactured are without a doubt, Orwellian.

    As I read about her, I noticed that stories began to change. For instance, “Siddiqui’s professional field is alleged to be microbiology, she is alleged to be divorced from Mohammed Khan, or estranged from him, or he is simply referred to as her husband. Some statements have her obtaining her PhD from MIT, not Brandeis. Some attempt to portray her as a science and computer mastermind, based primarily on one 1996 article she wrote for the MIT Information Systems newsletter and the recurrent false statement that her PhD is in microbiology. Unfounded accusations appear and recede in the US media. They range from Siddiqui brokering a diamond deal in West Africa on behalf of Al Qaeda to her opening a Baltimore post office box for an Al-Qaeda member. Lately, however, there are few mentions of her, of whatever accuracy or motivation. Some renewed media attention in 2006 seems to have dwindled to silence.”

    After she disappeared from Pakistan, her family was told not to make her disappearance an issue. (see “Strange Story Of Aafia Siddiqui” linked below)

    They tried to contact a family member, then were put under house arrest. A family member flew in to Karachi to check on them. She found a lock on the door, and knocked, at first normally, then after getting no answer, knocked very loudly. When no one answered, the neighbors told her that they were inside, but haven’t been coming out for a long time. She flew back home three days later.

    It seems to be that whatever information suits the case against her is the one that is used. There’s a lot out there, and much of it is hype. The stark contrast between what friends, family, and acquaintances is amazing. This is as plain as day,, especially if you’ve been following the detainee issue.

    I’m going to include some links here. These links will show you who Aaifa is. It isn’t up to each one of us to judge her, it is up to each one of us to see that she has her day in court. It’s also up to us to ask what happened to the children? The youngest child was only 9 months old! The oldest was 7. Aaifa’s family has not seen or heard from any of them. It is our job to write to our government and demand answers.

    In September 2006, Bush announced that, with the transfer of 14 people from the CIA’s secret prison program to military custody in Guantanamo Bay, “There are now no terrorists in the CIA program.” What happened to the other people in CIA detention?

    Below are some excellent links:


    Who’s Afraid of Aafia Siddiqui?


    The strange story of Aafia Siddiqui


    Surviving the Darkness: Testimony from the U.S. “Black Sites” (2007)




    Fate and Whereabouts Unknown: Detainees in the “War on Terror” (2005)

    This 34-page report provides the names and detailed backgrounds of 28 individuals who may be held in U.S. secret sites. The 28 include well-known terrorism suspects such as Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as well as individuals who have not been widely reported as among those “disappeared,” including Suleiman Abdalla, Abu Naseem, and Aafia Siddiqui.

    The report also draws attention to the connections between extraordinary renditions and disappearances.

    The findings of this report have been cited by key actors, including Amnesty International; the Council of Europe and Human Rights First

  4. Assalam O Alikum All

    Main is leady k leay Sincearly kuch karna chahte hoon. aaj yay oorat apni pehchan kho chuke hay is per itna tashadud or itne zeyaadteyan hoee hain k yay apna zehne tawazun kho chuke hay koi hay aap logon main say jo maira sath da sakay. Plzzzzzzzz request to all

  5. AOA,
    I have been shocked to read all this. Just cant believe why is this happening to people who can be a great asset to our country instead they are detained by others. Since yesterday after reading all this I can not stop thinking of her sufferings, Where she is ? How she is treated ? Are those her screams ?. She is a genius and when persons like these are kept inside walls they will for sure go mad, but May Allah give her strength and courage to face all this and get released one day. I dont know how can I help in her release but would surely do if required at any stage.

  6. i have created this community on orkut to help her out and to think what we should do. any one can join us and give ideas that what should be done

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