An open letter addressed to Barack Obama President of the United States of America and Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan by Ismat Siddiqui (mother of Aafia Siddiqui)
Translated by Shaista Abdullah
Allah Almighty in His Infinite Wisdom and Oneness, explains His love for His creation by likening it to the love of a mother for her children. This is the highest tribute and an honour to motherhood. What is motherhood? Love, sincerity, self-sacrifice, commitment, fondness, discipline, in summary, a multitude of different words that attempt to encapsulate the deep, undying emotion called motherhood. The civilized society attempts to honour the institution of motherhood by allocating ONE DAY in the year - Mother's Day! However, Mother's day is every day, every hour and every golden moment a mother spends with her child.
Dear Readers! This is an earnest and heartfelt message from a mother! A mother: who like ALL mothers finds solace and comfort in the presence of her child: a child who is a source of comfort for a mother in her old age: yet I have been deprived of my child for 9 long years because my innocent Aafia is not with me. Aafia's hopes, her dreams, her innocent laughter, her zeal for life still resonates within me. Aafia had lofty goals of an uplifted Pakistan filled where hope, education, brotherhood and unity abounds. Aafia had dedicated her life to uplifting human society. She was an institution in herself, spreading the message of love, peace, brotherhood and unity wherever she went. Aafia started her career with illuminating the path for others! Yet, today she sits in the dark dungeons of a jail, where she has been a victim of abuse and torture. Aafia, is a mother herself - yet she is deprived of her children and faces an 86 year sentence. Ironically, the very society that has created “A Mother's Day” is depriving an innocent mother of her children!
American history is filled with stories of struggle against human injustice, particularly injustices against women. American women have, as a result of those injustices, managed to carve a respectable place for themselves in society. Americans, as a result, have become very sensitive towards issues of social injustices! I appeal to those very women in my message today! What has become of your laws, your society and your social justice system which has resulted in an innocent mother of 3 children, Aafia Siddiqui to be sentenced to an 86 year imprisonment?
On this occasion of Mother’s Day I would like to remind you that Mary was also a mother. Her tale of self sacrifice, patience in the face of all odds and her reliance on God is understood and accepted as a matter of faith in many civilized societies around the world. Honourable statesmen of the US and Pakistan, after all you are the sons of a mother too. What greater gift can you give a mother by re-uniting a mother with her child? I therefore, ask Mr. Asif Ali Zardari to seek the release of my daughter, Aafia Siddiqui, and bring her back to Pakistan. This request is as per my right as a Pakistani citizen and your duty as the head of state of Pakistan.