KARACHI –  Aafia Movement leader Dr Fowzia Siddiqui on Sunday expressed concern over continuing silence of the government on the issue of Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s imprisonment in the US and rumours about the release of Dr Shakil Afridi, the man who allegedly helped the US find whereabouts of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

In a statement issued here, Fowzia said that reports in the Pakistani and the US media that the government of Pakistan was planning to hand over Afridi to the US were disturbing. She said the entire Pakistani nation appealed to the government of Pakistan to write a letter to the US administration for release of Aafia, but to no avail.

She said that now a report of a US news channel showed that the government had forgotten Dr Aafia and the rulers were just trying to protect their vested interests. She said the nation considered Afridi a traitor an Aafia innocent.

She said that Aafia’s repatriation would improve the image of Pakistan. She appealed to Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to take notice of this issue and play his due role.

Dr Fowzia said that several times they wrote letters to the president, the prime minister and the concerned ministries, requesting them to take notice of the Aafia issue.

She said that they were also informed through the media that release of Aafia was possible if the government writes a letter to the US administration, but nobody heeded to these calls.

The Aafia Movement leader asked the Pakistani media, political parties and the security agencies to take notice of the news about Afridi’s possible release and stop the rulers from selling the national honour this way.

If the government does not take urgent steps for repatriation of Aafia, she said, the movement would start a protest campaign.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper.