The story of Dr. Afia Siddiqui has garnered major attention in Pakistan. According to The News, much has been made of her “discovery” in FBI custody over the past few days. However, noted the news agency, “a close examination of the various reports relating to her discovery reveals very little of substance and certainly does not reveal an admission by the FBI that she is being held by them. Also missing are her three children, the youngest born about 2001 and the oldest about 1991. There are no reports of them being seen since March 2003 when Afia Siddiqui herself disappeared.” Below is a poem written by contributor Hassan Abbas who said he was motivated to write the piece “after reading the shockingly monstrous, inhuman and criminally illegal way the U.S. forces in Afghanistan have treated a Pakistani married woman and her small children for the past five years.” Details of Siddiqui’s situation can be read at the blog, Teeth Maestro. Hassan noted, “After repeatedly denying any knowledge of her whereabouts for the past five years, the Americans have finally been forced to admit to their act because of the efforts of Mr. Moazzam Begg, who recounted his experiences as a U.S. prisoner in a book… British Lord Nazeer; a British journalist Yvonne Ridley; and a number of human rights organizations also have presented evidence of a certain prisoner-of-war known as Prisoner 650 who was in terrible medical condition within an American prison located in Afghanistan. These same people said they had reason to suspect that Prisoner 650 is Dr. Afia Siddiqui.” Below, is Hassan’s poem to Siddiqui, “prisoner 650 in American custody”:
A Glorious Dawn…And a Better Day
Another dawn …another day,
Disgrace; insult is thrown our way;
Yet shamelessly on their golden perch
The spineless look – Oh how they sway!
As if there is no Lord above,
They with the devil-hand in glove;
Selling our dearest values and souls,
For gold and power – push and shove!
This crime you saw they so denied,
To filthy scum they sold the bride;
Yet the mighty Creator seeing it all
Unveils the gruesome act they hide!
Amongst ravenous wolves the fair one lies,
As from brutish hands she helplessly flies;
A suffering sister sane no more,
Her anguished screams – they rent the skies.
And this is all the pride you boast,
Our tormentors you daily host !
But yesterday we shared the cup,
– And today so far apart we coast ?
When comes a ‘Qasim’ to stem this rot?
Of Almighty Allah and His Messenger forgot!
Of cheaply selling our heritage which –
With submission and sacrifice was dearly bought.
And yet the strong will go their way,
As an ‘Iftikhar’ keep the monsters at bay;
Afia! Our elders pray, while the braver fight –
For a glorious dawn…and a better day!
A note from Hassan: I ask readers of this poem to please join the cause to get her release by signing this petition and doing anything else to protest this monstrosity- if you so wish. May I request you to please give this appeal the widest circulation.
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