KARACHI: After six years of silence, Dr Muhammad Amjad Khan, ex-husband of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, has finally spoken up and says that most of the press reports that relate to his former wife as well as his children are false. (Aafia Siddiqui is a terrorist and was hiding for 5 years as "Saliha").
In an exclusive talk with The News, he said that most claims are being propagated to garner public support and sympathy for Dr Aafia Siddiqui but are one-sided and in most instances untrue.
Dr Aafia Siddiqui, suspected of having links to terrorist organizations, has been charged in a criminal complaint filed in a court of New York on account of attempting to kill US personnel during interrogation and on a charge of assaulting US officers and employees in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 17, 2008.
NYT UPDATE 2/23/2009...A Reversal on Terror Defendant’s Fitness for Trial By Benjamin Weiser, Associated Press. A federal prosecutor said Monday that two psychiatrists who have examined Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist charged with trying to kill an American soldier and F.B.I. agents while in custody in Afghanistan, said she was not suffering from psychological illness that would render her unfit for trial. That assessment was in contrast to a previous evaluation of Ms. Siddiqui’s fitness.
Subsequently Dr Aafia Siddiqui was imprisoned in Bagram for 18 days (not 5 years) before being taken to the US for a trial. Due to pressure from Aafia Siddiqui’s family, the Pakistan government has been trying to secure her release from the US claiming her to be innocent. Although the US government has guaranteed Aafia Siddiqui the best legal assistance and a fair trial, her family is adamant that she be sent back on grounds that the US authorities have been consistently torturing her for years.“Aafia’s release cannot be secured by propagating stories based on falsehood and deception,” commented Dr Amjad Khan, in an interview with The News.
Dr Amjad, who was married to Dr Aafia Siddiqui for seven years until their divorce in October 2002, said Aafia’s family and supporters should not believe that truth will not be revealed and mere lies will help in securing Aafia’s repatriation. He added that he is disappointed with the government’s disregard for the law when officials handed over his eldest son, Ahmad, to his aunt Dr Fowzia Siddiqui on his return from Afghanistan last year instead of his legal guardian, his father.
“The government made no effort to locate me despite the fact that I am Ahmad’s real and legal guardian. My address in Karachi has not changed for the past 30 years. Ever since I returned from the US after our divorce, I have been living with my family,” he said adding: “Both the Minister for Interior Rehman Malik and Dr Fowzia Siddiqui have been taking credit for obtaining Ahmad’s release even though there was not a stone I left unturned to locate my missing children and obtain their custody according to law.
“I was aware of Aafia’s violent personality and extremist views and suspected her involvement in Jihadi activities. My fear later proved to be true when during Uzair Paracha’s trial in the US in 2004, the real purpose of Aafia’s trip to the US (between December 23, 2002 and January 3, 2003) was revealed.”
SEE MY PRIOR POST, Tuesday, August 05, 2008, AAFIA SIDDIQUI MANY LINKS TO US TERROR PLOTS INCLUDES POISONING NYC WATER RESERVOIRS WITH ANTHRAX. Uzair Paracha, 24, son of Saifullah Paracha, went on trial in November 2005, he was convicted of all five counts he faced, he is linked to al-Qaeda terrorist Majid Khan. In the opening argument of Uzair Paracha in November 2005, the Assistant United States Attorney Eric Bruce claimed that MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui was willing to help with an anthrax attack. Bruce repeatedly referred to a planned chemical attack by Khan but never described the plot or when and where it would occur. Any evidence supporting the dramatic statement was later excluded from evidence on the grounds that it would be unduly prejudicial.
Elaborating, Dr Amjad disclosed that he later learnt from media reports that Aafia’s family claimed she made this trip to the US for job interviews in December at a time when universities were closed for winter holidays.
“I also found it very odd that on the one hand Aafia insisted on leaving the US after September 11, 2001, claiming the country was unsafe for us and our children because the US government was abducting Muslim children, and on the other hand took the risk of travelling to that country again without fearing that she may be captured and may never see our children again.
”While Dr Aafia was in the US, the authorities had been closely watching her, added Amjad. They soon issued the first global “wanted for questioning” alert for the couple in March 2003. “At that time, the agencies did not know we were divorced and I was also unaware of Aafia’s involvement with two other terror suspects, Majid Khan and Ammar Al-Baluchi (the nephew of Khalid Shaikh Mohammad KSM & 9/11.
SEE MY PRIOR REPORT ON THESE GOONS, Wednesday, September 03, 2008, AAFIA SIDDIQUI HAD PLANS FOR "MASS CASUALTY ATTACK" WITH DIRTY BOMBS IN NEW YORK CITY. Terrorist Majid Khan appears to have met with Aafia Saddiqui who is a MIT grad in microbiology, she had access to Anthrax while working at Brandeis Univ in Boston. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Bruce claimed that MIT graduate Aafia Siddiqui was willing to help with an anthrax attack. Eric Bruce repeatedly referred to a planned chemical attack by Majid Khan but never described the plot or when and where it would occur. He said a woman affiliated with al-Qaida opened a Maryland post office box in the names of herself and Majid Khan so immigration documents could be sent there. Bruce said the woman (Aafia Siddiqui), if asked, would "help carry out a deadly Anthrax attack against the United States." Her whereabouts were unknown at that time.
They wanted me to persuade Aafia Siddiqui to appear for the interview with them and clear the charges leveled against her just as I had done. That is when she went underground and it later became apparent why she chose to ‘disappear’,” disclosed Dr Amjad. Sharing details of his unsuccessful marriage with Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Dr Amjad told The News that since their marriage was arranged, he was unaware of Aafia’s violent behaviour. “She got hysterical fits when she became angry and would physically attack me, but I put up with it for the sake of our children.”
Although Amjad and Aafia Siddiqui both were inclined towards religion, he found her opinion towards Jihad to be of an extreme nature that sometimes made him uncomfortable. He became particularly suspicious of his wife’s intentions when soon after the 9/11 attacks, she compelled Amjad to leave Boston (where Amjad was completing his residency) and move to Afghanistan where she claimed “he would be more useful”.
“I tried my best to save our marriage, but divorce was inevitable,” he recalls.However, after mutual consent, the couple signed a legal agreement whereby the custody of the three minors was given to Aafia Siddiqui, while Amjad was required to pay for their education and maintenance.
“Aafia’s mother and Dr Fowzia Siddiqui had warned me at the time of our divorce that they would take revenge by not letting me meet the children,” he said adding “But now they are discouraging a meeting with Ahmad because they fear Ahmad will reveal the truth about Aafia’s activities and whereabouts of his siblings over these years.”
He added that Dr Fowzia Siddiqui had similarly threatened him several years ago by taking a picture of Aafia while she was asleep after she injured her upper lip (by a milk bottle) in an accident (a staged photo).
Dr Fowzia Siddiqui warned Amjad that if he tried to divorce Aafia, she would use the picture against him alleging him to be an abusive husband. “It was made to appear in the picture that Aafia was badly injured. Today, the same picture is being circulated in the media (staged photo) to claim that Aafia Siddiqui was tortured for years in Bagram (a lie),” he revealed.
Later, Aafia’s family accused him of being an abusive husband and father preventing the children from meeting their father. “Aafia’s mother has also accused me in the media of changing the children’s names whereas in reality they had resorted to these tactics to conceal the children.”
He alleged that Dr Fowzia Siddiqui also used the Asian Human Rights Commission, an NGO based in Honk Kong, to mislead the government about his two missing children. “The AHRC received the information about my two missing children being in an orphanage in Afghanistan from Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, who was diverting attention away from the place where the children really are.” claimed Amjad.
Earlier, when Aafia’s father died, the family held Amjad responsible for his death too claiming he suffered a stroke after he saw the divorce document. “That is simply not true because I mailed the document two days after Aafia’s father died and that too because I was unaware of the unfortunate incident. Their family never kept me posted on anything in the six-week period between our verbal and written divorce.
I was just as shocked at his death.”Moreover, the family alleged that Aafia Siddiqui was in trouble and had been kidnapped because her former husband (Dr Amjad) handed over her personal diary to the FBI.
“After this, false reports about Aafia’s arrest and Pakistani government’s involvement in handing her over to the US despite repeated denials by the Minister of Interior and other officials, started making headlines” claims the doctor, who has now re-married.
It is the whereabouts of his two children Marium now aged 10, and six-year-old Suleiman that worries him now, said Amjad. Like the coordinates of Dr Aafia Siddiqui remained a mystery after she was allegedly ‘picked up’ in March 2003, Dr Amjad believes Aafia’s family may be using the same tactics in the case of his two children, who are reportedly ‘missing’.
“I am sure they are around Karachi and in contact with their maternal family as both Aafia Siddiqui and the children were seen around their house here and in Islamabad on multiple occasions since their alleged disappearance in 2003. They may be living under an assumed identity just like Aafia Siddiqui and Ahmed had been living [as Saliha and Ali Ahsan] for five years before they got arrested,” believes the father.
He said Dr Fowzia Siddiqui claim that the children are missing after being removed from the Bagram prison in Afghanistan ‘may be an attempt to attract sympathy of the government and the people and distract its attention from the real location.’