Daughter of Pakistan, Dr Aafia Siddiqui (who was handed down 86-year jail term by a US court), might have escaped the sentence, had Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani wanted the same for her.

At a time when the people of Pakistan are protesting Dr Aafia’s sentence, this stunning disclosure was made by a former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney a couple of days ago.

While reacting to Dr Aafia’s sentence and exposing dubious role of Hussain Haqqani, Cynthia McKinney said that she was coming to Pakistan with a piece of information to share with the Government of Pakistan that could have averted the sentence but she was denied visa by the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.

“Aafia Siddiqui might have been prevented from receiving the 86-year sentence in the United States had the Ambassador Hussain Haqqani granted me visa to Pakistan,” media reports quoted Cynthia McKinney as having said this. According to the information available with this scribe through a reliable diplomatic source, Ambassador Haqqani had refused visa to ‘the very excellent female politician Cynthia McKinney’ who was part of an international delegation due to travel to Islamabad, to raise concerns about the case with the Government of Pakistan.

The Foreign Office spokesman was not available for comments when this scribe tried to get his version on the issue. A text message was also dropped at the spokesman’s personal cell phone requesting him to return a call, but he didn’t call back till the filing of this report.

[cubic:1459bsnn][/cubic:1459bsnn]

It is pertinent to mention here that Haqqani had faced sharp criticism in Pakistan a couple of months back against issuing visas to Blackwater guns-for-hire and mercenaries heading to the fresh killing fields of Pakistan. To the satisfaction of millions of Pakistanis and in particular family of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, there are now literally millions of people across the world who have joined hands to raise voice against sentence of the daughter of Pakistan.

Following the stunning disclosure about the dubious role of Ambassador Haqqani in Dr Aafia’s case, human right activists have now become suspicious about the role of ‘Dream Team’ lawyers Charlie Swift and Linda Moreno who were hired by Haqqani and were paid a lucrative money to defend Aafia in the US court.

According to the sources, the government had paid $2 million for Dr Aafia’s legal support during her trial. Since she has been sentenced, however, a number of questions remain unanswered as how did Pakistani government collude in the first place with the US intelligence agencies to kidnap Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her three children from the streets of Karachi in March 2003.
An influential British journalist Yvonne Ridley in her recent opinion ‘Condemned by Their Silence’ questioned the dubious role of Haqqani in Dr Aafia’s case. She wrote, “And what of the ubiquitous Mr Haqqani? He’s not a career diplomat.”

In fact, he holds US citizenship or has aspirations to making him a very peculiar choice as Pakistan’s man in Washington. Once his foray into the world of diplomacy comes to an end, he’ll resume his career as a lecturer in America, something his US controllers remind him on a regular basis.”

Yvonne further wrote in the same column, “His Excellency has certainly been a busy little bee with regards Dr Aafia’s case … briefing some of my colleagues in the Western media telling them ‘off-the-record’ what a bad woman she is!”

(The Nation)