Desi in DC

August 10, 2008

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Filed under: Desi,Muslims,Pakistan,Politics,Uncategorized — dcdesi @ 1:26 pm

The Pakistani media for the last few days has been covering a lot of information on the Afia Siddiqui case. Who is she? What did she do? whose story is right?  I remember reading about her disappearence 5 years ago along with her three children. I remember hearing her name again and again when the issue of the “missing people” was raised in Pakistan.  There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that she had been picked up by “authorities”, It was just that no one knew where she was, which country had her and if the children were still with her…

Imagine not knowing where your loved ones are, including your infant nephew/ grandchild..Having nieces and nephews myself, I know if they would get sick we would worry, run out of the gate for a second we would panic.. this is soo much worse..

The Asian Human Rights Commision in its report stated that ‘on July 6, 2008 a British journalist, Yvonne Ridley, called for help for a Pakistani woman she believes has been held in isolation by the Americans in their Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan, for over four years. “I call her the ‘grey lady’ because she is almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continues to haunt those who heard her,” Ms Ridley said at a press conference.”

The British Lord Nazir has also aked questions about this Prisoner number 650. She according to him had received a horrendous treatment including constant rape by the authorities who held her.

Afia Siddiqui in her statement said that she was held in Bagram by the US. “According to her lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, “We do know she was at Bagram for a long time. It was a long time. According to my client she was there for years and she was held in American custody; her treatment was horrendous.” [Web: ]

It is interesting to note that a  day after I started receiving emails about prisoner number 650 from concerned citizens [ and the emails had already started circulating a few dyas before then], was the day when the news broke in the US media [CNN August 4th] about how a Pakistani female terrorist had finally been arrested by the US in Afghanistan and that she was wanted on charges of attacking US military Officers on July 18th.  Timings I must admit were quite convenient.  The CNN story now makes me question every single news item that I read on their website. What is the truth, how much spin is there in that story etc etc, is it really even true?

I have  respect for the US judge who was brought in for her bail hearing. According to the Dawn Article The judge expressed surprise at the quick extradition of Ms Siddiqui from Afghanistan to New York noting that in such a short period one could not extradite a person from Bronx (a New York Borough) to Manhattan. Interestingly that statement by the US judge never got reported in any of the US media sites that I went too. According to the NY times Siddiqui was brought to on Monday and brought for her hearing on Tuesday. It is also noteworthy that at the moment she is currently not being charged for any of her alledged actions that happened 5 years ago. The charge is for her alledged actions that took place after she spent 5 years and prison and was constantly abused.

I guess the old adage innocent until proven guilty no longer applies, at least not to Afia Siddiqui and the other remaining “missing people”.



  1. Dear pakistani blogger,
    We at enewss are trying to bridge Indian bloggers. However,
    we also recently made slight modification to bring Pakistani bloggers on board such that there is bloggers to bloggers contact between two countries. Whatever this may sound to you like, this is one of the efforts to air bloggers views across borders. This will give one more oppurtunity to see and understand each other well and see how the new generation think of each other.
    If you do believe in this effort, I would like you to signup at and submit your blog rss/atom feed to ‘Pakistani blog’ category.

    This way Indian bloggers can also read the Pakistani bloggers view and comment on each other blogs and see their perspectives.
    Once we reach sufficient number of Pakistani bloggers we will show cause the category on main page.

    Best regards

    Comment by sri — August 13, 2008 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  2. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar — September 10, 2009 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

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