Pakistan must ensure justice to Dr. Aafia; probe her children’s disappearance: HRCP

Press Release, August 12


Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan urges the government of Pakistan to fulfil its duty of ensuring that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui receives full justice, necessary facilities and immediate medical attention. HRCP demands an official investigation into Dr. Siddiqui’s, and her children’s, disappearance and details of their detention – from the point of being picked up in 2003 till the present. HRCP also emphasises that Dr. Siddiqui should not be repatriated to Pakistan against her wishes and be given the full opportunity to contest her case in the US. The fear is that once she has been repatriated to Pakistan she will be pressurised by the intelligence agencies to maintain silence and she will not be able to secure justice. Though it may be a relief that she has been traced there is no information about Dr. Siddiqui’s children. The government must also disclose the whereabouts of her children.


The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has been following the case of disappearance of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her three children since early 2003. The information collected by HRCP at that particular time was that in March 2003 Dr. Siddiqui, along with her three children, left her mother’s house in a taxi on her way to the Karachi airport and was picked up by an intelligence agency. What she was accused of when picked up has not been made public. Strangely, the only charge against her is an alleged assault against her captors while in custody.


A statement was issued expressing concern on this most heinous violation of human rights and HRCP demanded an explanation from the government. The parents of Dr. Siddiqui were also contacted, who were under sever threat of the intelligence agencies and warned not to speak either to the press or any human rights organization. At one point office bearers of the HRCP contacted the family of Dr. Siddiqui and arranged to meet but at the last minute they expressed their “inability” to see the office bearers despite the fact that the meeting was arranged at their request. Since then HRCP representatives have been in touch with the family and filed a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court which is still pending. The petition was heard on the 8th of March 2007 and at several subsequent hearings the government expressed their ignorance of the whereabouts of Dr. Siddiqui and her children.


HRCP is convinced that Dr. Siddiqui and her three children were picked up from Karachi as is evident from the initial reports and urges the government to now play a positive role in insuring that she gets full justice, fair trial as well as compensation from the government of United States for the mistreatment meted out to her. HRCP appreciates that the Pakistan mission has sought consular access to her yet these belated efforts can only be compensated if the Pakistan government is able to intervene in the courts in the US and submit an honest investigation report


HRCP will remain in touch with the legal team defending Dr. Siddiqui and will make all efforts to submit its own reports through her lawyers.


The violation of the rights of Dr. Siddiqui and her children, and countless other missing persons, is squarely the responsibility of the government of Pakistan. There is enough evidence indicating that she was initially picked up by the intelligence agencies in Pakistan and therefore it is not only the government of the United States but also the government of Pakistan that must be made accountable for this crime.


HRCP fears that the fate of Dr. Siddiqui will be the same as hundreds of others who have disappeared, been tortured and rendered to third countries without following the legal process. Regrettably petitions of hundreds of people in almost similar circumstances are pending in the courts of Pakistan and not in one single case has full justice been delivered. No one has received compensation neither have the perpetrators been brought to justice.


Asma Jahangir


2 thoughts on “Pakistan must ensure justice to Dr. Aafia; probe her children’s disappearance: HRCP

  1. shame,shame shame just shame 4 every body to comment.shame musahraf.shame q league,shame zardari,shame gillani,shame nawaz,shame pakistanis.what r we,a wild has more civilization than us.shame att all

  2. since the last two months i am not having a sound sleep in the night as i feel guilty and helpless of not doing any thing for Dr.Aafia and her children. This is so painful for me that cannot be expressed in words. I pray every night from my GOD to help her and give her justice.
    Dr. Aafia and her kids (future of Pakistan) have been treated unhumanily which is unbearable. But the path of honesty is extremely difficult and long for those who understand that this world is not forever. I suppose that Dr. Aafia is one of the most closest and dearest person to GOD whom he has selected to sacrifise for all of us. You will be at a very high level in the eyes of God.
    May you get justice, and reunion with your family.

    I request from those who have power and money to please help my sister and her kids as every day is like hell for her family and they must be living with pain so do herself.
    But this is also a matter of thinking for those who make the policy for underveloping countries. You should first provide accurate, precise and true evidences and then try to proceed. if you started to establish a story blindly without any true evidences then it will spoil the live of a precious human being.

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