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KARACHI: Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor has said that if compared the Indians show more nationalism and patriotism than Pakistanis when their citizens are arrested abroad.

Drawing parallels between the cases of Pakistani woman scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui and Indian woman diplomat Devyani Khobragade, he said the Indian people and government showed an excellent example of national pride and honour when their woman citizen Devyani was arrested abroad and they forced the US government to release her.

Devyani Khobragade, a 1999-batch IFS officer was arrested on December 12, 2013, in the US when she was India’s Deputy Consul-General in New York on visa fraud charges and for allegedly providing false declarations in a visa application for her maid. She later was released on a USD 250,000 bond.

Her release was secured because the Indian people and government showed an unwavering solidarity for their arrested woman and compelled the mighty US government to accept their demands just within a very short time.

Comparatively, Pakistan woman scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui has been languishing in a US jail for 20 years, even without committing a crime on the US soil, because the government of Pakistan has shown lack of courage and Pakistani people also failed to lend the required support for their daughter.

Altaf Shakoor said this shows the proud national psyche and patriotism which help shaping great nations. He said Pakistan trapped into ‘debt slavery’ is dancing to the tunes of the IMF and World Bank that take care of the US capitalism interests. He said during last two decades both political and military governments have shown lack of interest in the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui as they don’t want to irk the US. He said in fact, Pakistan has become a colony of America. He said after the East India Company now we are slaves of the IMF.

Altaf Shakoor said that political parties of Pakistan also failed to show the required solidarity with Aafia Siddiqui. Her name was used as a political slogan during election to befool voters, but the winning parties after coming into power just forgot their promises for seeking release of Dr Aafia.

He demanded of the government of Pakistan and its ‘institutions’ to shun apathy and take the Aafia Siddiqui case boldly with the US government.

He said the case of Aafia is stronger than the case of Devyani, but the Pakistani government is relatively weaker in courage than the Indian government.

He said now the general elections are approaching fast and once again Pakistani politicians would try to exploit the slogan of Aafia for their politicking.

He requested the voters to reject such political parties that have already betrayed to the cause of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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