People living in glass houses

By Khurshid Anwer

President Zardari has said that Nasim Hasan Shah is guilty of the judicial murder of Bhutto. Can the legal technicalities that Bhutto did not pull the trigger himself and was not even present in Lahore at the time of the assassination, absolve Bhutto from the responsibility of the crime that was committed.

Is today’s suicide bomber more guilty than the person who has sent him on this suicidal mission from a place of safety miles removed from the scene of the crime. If that man is caught, should the courts say that he cannot be charged with the crime as he was not present at the scene of the crime. And if the courts sentence such a man to death, will we call it a judicial murder”

Can any say that a Feudal Wadera that Bhutto was, and prime minister to boot, would have taken lying down what Ahmed Raza Kasuri had said to his face on the floor of the House, and not noted on his file ‘eliminate him’.

Quote:

Ahmed Raza Kasuri opening the debate on the 1973 constitution had said in the presence of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, “Today is a very historical moment but also a tragic moment because the House is representing only half of Pakistan and 166 members of East Pakistan are absent. When we ponder on this situation we find it is because the leader of the minority party had decided to rubbish the leader of the majority party. When In any country the leader of the minority party decides to destroy the majority party, disruption follows and a crisis situation arises. We have had to face this crisis because the said leader was hungry for power. To get into power he destroyed the country. It is this leader who had said in Lahore on February 28, 1971, “Any one going to Dacca will have his legs broken, he should go on a one way ticket”. In March 1971 he had said “uther tum, ither ham” at the Patel Park in Karachi, “I have majority in West Pakistan and you have majority in East Pakistan, therefore power has to be transferred separately in both wings”. My country had to face international insult and ridicule because of this. Today our honour and pride has been rubbed into the dust, our armed forces have been made to face defeat, we have lost more than half our country. Who is to be held responsible for this? History will catch this culprit. History will put him in the dock of public opinion and he will have to answer. He will not escape.  Unquote.

Hakim Zardari, the only other person who defied Bhutto in going to Dacca,  had been equally critical of Bhutto in the press, repeating most of the charges made by Kasuri. He also said that the constitution had been got signed at gun point. During the first tenure of Benazir Bhutto when the ‘Nation’ reproduced this interview without any comments, the editor’s house was fired upon followed by a phone call saying, “Is this enough or do you want more”. The Nation commented, after a period of subdued silence, that a bullet does not necessarily come from a dictator’s gun, it can also come from a democratic dispensation.

It has been reported that all 18 policemen charged with the murder of Murtaza Bhutto have been acquitted.  Rao Rashid on a TV program, when asked who did he think had murdered Murtaza, said I have no proof but know this much that Zardari and Benazir had gone to see president Leghari where, Zatdari pointing to Benazir had said, “She does not understand but it is either him or me”. And two days later ‘him’ was no more. Rao Rashid said that president Leghari had himself told him of the said meeting. 

Can there be any reasonable doubt at all about the two murders.

Khurshid Anwer

PIA announces new baggage requirements for USA

KARACHI: PIA has informed its passengers about the enhanced screening procedure for passengers traveling from USA to Pakistan implemented by Transport Security Administration (TSA) at JFK Airport in New York. PIAC Logo

A PIA spokesman said that TSA has notified PIA about enhanced screening of Pakistani Passport Holders traveling from USA that the baggage of such passengers would go through a CTX machine, a x-ray machine for luggage that detect other unidentifiable objects as well, and the selected searches of passengers.

As of now, passengers are required to show a U.S Federal or State issued photo ID that contains Name, date of birth, gender, expiration date of ID and a tamper resistant feature in order to be allowed to go through the check point and onto their flight.

If a Pakistani passport is produced, the passenger, irrespective of age and gender will have to undergo selected screening.

He said often passengers carry baggage of different/ varying sizes which could not passed through the CTX scanning machines, resulting in manual checking of baggage by the authorities.

As the screening process consumes time, long queues are formed at the JFK airport.

PIA passengers were requested to carry baggage of the specified size/dimension with maximum length 39 inches, maximum height 19 inches, maximum width 25 inches and weight not exceeding 110 Lbs.

 PIA Airbus

Any oversize baggage or carton will not be accepted by the airline i.e. PIA.

Passengers are advised further to reach JFK airport at least five hours prior to flight departure time as PIA check in counters will close 1 hour and 15 minutes before flight departure in order to maintain on time departures.

As a precautionary measure, PIA passengers traveling from Pakistan to USA are also requested to follow the new baggage instructions as same baggage rules would be applicable on their return journey. – APP

What a way to grab all for the family, Mr. Ambassador!!!

 

by Usman Manzoor, The News Tuesday, Feb 23rd, 2010clip_image001

 
 
 

What a way to grab all for the family, Mr Ambassador!

Map of the world 

The News

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
By Usman Manzoor
ISLAMABAD: The new Pakistani ambassador to Syria, appointed by President Zardari, has summarily sacked the entire staff and faculty of the Pakistan International School in Damascus and appointed almost all his immediate family members for a collective monthly salary of $38,000 (Rs3.2 million).
The sacked teachers and staff members of the school run by the embassy, who were removed for no reasons and without any prior notice, have been compelled to go into litigation against the Pakistan Embassy, The News has learnt.

The Pakistan International School in Damascus is run by the embassy of Pakistan but within five months after the arrival of new ambassador, Aminullah Raisani, in September 2009, the management and faculty of the school was changed altogether without giving any reason and the school was stuffed with the relatives of the ambassador.
According to the list of newly inducted teachers Saeeda Yasmeen Raeesani has been appointed as Principal. She is sister of the ambassador and is drawing $6,500 per month as salary while the previous principal Syed Tauseef Bokhari was getting $2,500. Another sister, Ms Abbas, has been appointed as Urdu teacher for $3,500 per month.
Two daughters, Amna Aminullah Raeesani and Quratulein Aminullah Raeesani, have been appointed as teachers. These two are getting $3,000 per month as salary while the school was paying only $1,700 for the same job to previous teachers.

Mohammad Ishaque, brother-in-law of the ambassador, has been appointed as accountant for $3,500 per month while the same job was previously with one Imran for just $900 a month.
Attique-ur-Rehman and Syed Muhammad Ali, ambassador’s nephews, have been appointed as business teachers for $3,000 a month while the same job was done for $1,500 only before September 2009. 

Nayla Atiq, granddaughter of ambassador’s sister, is working as Maths teacher for $3,000 a month while her predecessor was drawing $1,700 a month as salary. Ali Abdullah, the son-in-law of ambassador’s sister, and Muhammad Ahsan Shafique, ambassador’s cousin, have been appointed as teachers for $3,000 a month while their predecessors were drawing $1,500 a month.Another cousin of the ambassador, Rasheed Chattha, has been appointed as biology teacher for $3,500 a month while previously Ms Manal Sileman was doing the same job for $1,500 a month.

 
Ms Manal Sileman, one of the Syrian teachers of the Pakistani school who has been sent home without giving any notice and without any reason, while talking to The News from Damascus on phone said that it was strange that an ambassador instead of running the affairs of the embassy was keen in the business of the school.
She lamented that the ambassador has imported Chinese shoes and made it mandatory for every student to purchase those shoes at much higher rates. She said that the school was being ruined as the new incompetent teachers have been hired for more than double the salaries the previous faculty was getting.
Another teacher Saad al Hassan said that he has gone to the court with a heavy heart because he has served the school and Pakistan and now the court will issue an order against the Republic of Pakistan

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Storm Clouds over Islamabad and Pakistan are Building, take heed of your selfish deeds,  Mr. Zardari and Mr. Gillani….. KoolBlue

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He said that he has respect for the Pakistani nation but because of a few people he has been compelled to go into litigation against the embassy and according to the Syrian laws the Pakistan Embassy in Damascus could be heavily penalised.
Saad said that the school was rated among the best in Damascus and the elite, including the foreign minister of Syria and deputy foreign minister, had started sending their kids to the Pakistan International School of Damascus but with the advent of new administration many have opted for other schools in the city.
He said that last year the school won eight gold medals in the Cambridge examination and the income of the school in 2006 was US$2,042,400 per annum and it rose to $4,774,000 per annum in 2009 with the number of students almost doubled i.e. from 600 to 1,100.
Ambassador Aminullah Raisani was too busy to talk to this correspondent. However his spokesman Zahid Ali who works as Counsellor in the embassy denied all these allegations. He said that the previous management was incompetent that was why it was sent packing while competent people have now been inducted in the school.
Zahid said that it was not true that the newly appointed teachers were drawing more salaries than the previous management. “We write to the Foreign Office of Pakistan about our tasks here,” Zahid replied when asked about some teachers going into litigation against the embassy.

 
 
 

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In Memoriam

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Ambreen Nisar Husain
24.9.62 – 24.2.05

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. I did not die.

(mary elizabeth frye – 1932)

Ambreen-1

Sit with me a while
Hold my hand and share my pain,
For even the Heavens cried with me
that day a part of me died,

A part of my life that was so gentle,
thoughtful and caring;
Loving, sensitive and warm
with a soft cheerful voice

A part that had from infancy become
the sunshine of all of our lives,
The Heavens cried that day a part of me died

The joyous chuckle, the radiant smile
The thoughtful furrowed brow,
The glaring eyes, the sea of emotions
that we shared;

Memories of that gentle voice are silent now
But the smile, the touch and the love
is all in my heart,
to cherish till I depart

The Heavens cried when my Tu passed on.

-Ba- (Zahid Husain)

Ambreen2

Power Corrupts

By Khurshid Anwer

Mohammad Ali Jinnah's Mausoleum 

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but what about ‘street power’- it goes straight to the head, giving birth to various cards – Sindh card, Punjab card etc.

Bhutto knew how to build up street power. He denigrated army generals to get the jawans behind him. He denigrated the police hierarchy to get the ranks behind him. He denigrated teachers and professors to get the students behind him. He denigrated the ‘haves’ to get the ‘have nots’ behind him, and he put the industrialists behind bars to get the workers behind him. The rest is history.Halaat-e-Haazra 019e

With all this street power going to his head he became a law unto himself. No rules or regulations could stand in his way. This has become the hallmark of all PPP governments to this day. The Jiyalas take a cue from the leaders and are not bound by any discipline, except party discipline. A completely free for all attitude towards the resources and the institutions of the country.

Bhutto wanted to kick upstairs a chief justice of the Lahore high court, but before that he got a law passed that refusal by a judge of a transfer order would be considered a resignation. The chief justice refused/resigned  and left the scene.aaz185_394665a

Benazir improved upon that. She transferred a non-pliable chief justice of the Sindh high court to the Shariat Court. The next incumbent was sent packing to the supreme court for similar reasons. Then she picked a junior to head the court. Thereafter the judges who were appointed in their dozens had never seen the inside of the high court, only the inside of the prime ministers house. Did any one say, Cronies.  zardari (Medium).preview_0

Her crowning moment was when she picked Sajjad Ali Shah over the head of many seniors as the chief justice of the supreme court, on the condition that he would not judge against her government. Apparently the latter did not feel bound by that condition.

What is happening today comes as no surprise, it is par for the course for PPP governments.

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Power to Pakistan

Peter Roebuck

Peter Roebuck

Former captain of Somerset; author of It Never Rains, Sometimes I Forgot to Laugh and other books

 

 

They have long been among cricket’s most compelling teams, and though the current turmoil in the country bodes ill for the game, there is hope yet

Peter Roebuck

February 10, 2010

Mohammad Asif is excited after an early breakthrough, Australia v Pakistan, only Twenty20 international, MCG, 5 February, 2010

Crazy but watchable: Pakistan have been unpredictable and extraordinary always © Getty Images

Pakistan is a team struggling for direction, from a nation batting for identity. Ever since the tragic death of its founding father soon after independence had been attained, the country has been at the mercy of a fickle political climate. Arguably the country has become as much a political as a geographic entity. Pakistan has been driven by its passions. Whereas India tends to calm down after a while, its northern neighbour can simmer. Volatility has been its hallmark.

Inevitably the wider turmoil has been reflected in the way Pakistan has played its cricket. It is hard to build structures and stability where neither exists in the society at large. It’s difficult to assert authority when the holders of high office themselves are constantly looking over their shoulders. It’s hard to make a plan when the nation itself has no such confidence. Factions and friction are the inevitable result of all these unsettling forces. Everything is transitory.

Pakistan has many faces At once it is a powerful nation with a large and fitfully growing economy and also a perilous place in a fractious neighbourhood. At once it is a religious state and yet also a place where new television stations open almost weekly, where The Vagina Monologues was staged not so many years ago. It is the land of Karachi, Lahore and the rugged mountains of the North. It is a country Westerners rarely visit, and yet, when they do, often return surprised and impressed from.

No country can be put in a little box. Iraq has an ancient culture. Iran counts amongst the most literate places around. Zimbabwe’s schools are second to none. Australia has a television station, SBS, given over overwhelmingly to immigrant communities. Pakistan too resists caricature.

 

Over the decades Pakistani cricket reflected the forces evident in wider society. At times in the early years the local game was dominated by anglophiles from wealthy backgrounds determined to prove that they could be as respectable as their former rulers. For a long time the subcontinental teams were the most sporting anywhere, though the West Indians ran them close. Only Australia found its voice from the outset, but then it was not a conquered land so much as a place for outcasts and opportunists. And so the Aussies did not walk on cue or talk politely or pitch the ball up.

Even in the years before independence, the region had been known for its fast bowlers. From its earliest days on the international stage, Pakistan cricket contained many fine players, not least bowlers like Fazal Mahmood, a handful on any track, and lethal on the matting wickets that prevailed till groundsmen were instructed to lay down grass surfaces. Although he did not stand alone, Hanif Mohammad was the first great batsman to emerge from the country, and his epic innings in the West Indies is recognised as amongst the finest ever played. Hereabouts, though, the team lacked depth and did not always travel well.

Not until the 1970s did Pakistan field a side that was able to hold its own against any opponent anywhere in the world. As a youngster growing up in England, I was dazzled by the wristy brilliance of Zaheer Abbas, the valiant displays put on by Asif Iqbal, the round-faced contributions of Mushtaq Mohammad, and the grave skill produced by Majid Khan. For that matter, Intikhab Alam was around, sending down his cheery legbreaks. Even then he had the air of a man able to take life’s vicissitudes in his stride.

Ever since, Pakistan has been regarded as amongst the most powerful of the cricketing nations. Next, the emergence of two great players, arguably the greatest in their history and amongst the best the game has known, pushed them along. Between them, and in their contrasting ways, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad drove their country’s cricket onwards. Imran was the imperial leader, able by size and force of character to hold the team together and to forge it in his image. Under his commanding captaincy Pakistan fought back from the brink of early elimination to take the World Cup. When victory arrived the players gave thanks to their God. Already Imran had arranged for the spoils to be given to charity, a gesture that did not please all his subjects. His sincerity could not be doubted. In retirement he devoted his life to serving his nation and building cancer hospitals. Not even the most towering cricketer, though, not even a World Cup winner can win elections without an organisation.

None of it boded well. All of it told of a nation whose institutions were failing. It told of a cricket community that does not know what tomorrow might bring and so divides against itself. In such circumstances it is impossible to build a team or make plans

Miandad was the hustler and bustler of the Pakistan side. Blessed with a brain at once provocative and calculating, and a sharp competitive instinct, he was a formidable and canny batsman. Most particularly he was able to pace his innings to meet all requirements and to score runs against all sorts of bowling in all types of conditions. Probably he has been his country’s most resourceful run-scorer. Always he had an eye for the main chance. That he could be disruptive was part of the package. Over the years he captained the side a few times and coached them a few times and always spoke his mind and always seemed unlikely to last long.

 

Wasim Akram and Inzamam-ul-Haq were to have as much impact on Pakistan cricket as their illustrious predecessors. However, they were mixed blessings. Akram was a dashing batsman and supreme speedster, able to swing the ball both ways at will but he was also a little inclined towards temptation off the field.

Inzamam looked amiable and was initially assumed to be harmless. At the crease he could belt the ball around with aplomb and from the outset counted amongst the most feared one-day batsmen around. In every respect he was underestimated. Closer inspection revealed a shrewd operator with a dry wit and a fondness for shortcuts.

Both players were popular at home and abroad, but both left the game nursing dented reputations. With every passing year the team became not so much a statement of national intent as an expression of individual ability. Matches and series were won because Pakistan had players, and especially bowlers, of exceptional talent. But the centre was not holding. To the contrary, it was under intense pressure.

Waqar Younis’ emergence as a sturdy, fast and skilful pace bowler meant that Pakistan had the most dangerous new-ball attack in the game. Thanks to the same bowlers they also had the most lethal old-ball attack. Both speedsters swung the old ball late and prodigiously, and all manner of mutterings ensued. Not that Pakistan relied entirely on pace. Saqlain Mushtaq’s doosra and Mushtaq Ahmed’s googly confused opponents in about equal proportions.

However, it was not all sweetness and light. Hereabouts scandals followed the team around, with talk of ball-tampering and latterly, match-fixing. Investigations exposed murky dealings with bookmakers undertaken by some unscrupulous captains and players. On and off the field, Pakistan cricket suffered from a lack of accountability. It remained at the whim of politicians and players. All too often players were taking more than they were giving.

Nothing much has changed. Captains and coaches continue to come and go. Defeat in Australia put the incumbents in the spotlight. Of itself, losing to Australia was not a calamity. It was not even a surprise. Rather it was the manner of the loss in Sydney and the subsequent collapse that told the tale. Pakistan no longer believed in themselves, no longer had the swagger, the ability, the downright cheek, to beat powerful opponents. Somewhere along the way they had lost their nerve. The team spent a long time on the road, too long, and did not survive the journey.

Umar Akmal goes for a slog sweep, Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney, 2nd day, January 4, 2010

Umar Akmal: hope for the future © Getty Images

Even the chairman of selectors felt obliged to tender his resignation. One recently resigned captain returned to play in the ODI series. Another took over the reins in the Twenty20. Yet another led the side for a few matches only to be banned for two matches after mistaking the ball for a sandwich. The aged coach was told that, though he had not been sacked, he was not accompanying the team on its next trip. Meanwhile the official vice-captain was dropped for a combination of poor form and loose tongue.

None of it boded well. All of it told of a nation whose institutions were failing. It told of a cricket community that does not know what tomorrow might bring and so divides against itself. In such circumstances it is impossible to build a team or make plans. However honest, no words can be relied upon, because hold on office is tenuous.

It tells of a community unable to entertain and impress its own supporters. The attack on the Sri Lankan team bus removed the last hope of a home series in the near future. Even sympathisers no longer blame players for staying away. To make matters worse, the Pakistan players were kept out of the third season of the IPL. Obviously they were not considered safe choices. IPL officials ought to have admitted as much. Instead they tiptoed around the truth.

If any hope can be found it lies with the dignity of some remaining players and the promise of youth. Pakistan cricket has much to commend it, not least Mohammad Yousuf. And this most mercurial of cricketing nations did include two players of high potential in Mohammad Aamer and Umar Akmal. And the Under-19 side did reach the recent World Cup final. Something has been retained, the rare ability, the glint in the eye, the sense of destiny.

Inescapably Pakistan cricket will rise and fall with the nation itself. It is the fate of the current generation of leaders and players to hold the game together. Nothing more can be expected. There is a time to dig in and a time to attack. It is an unexciting challenge, and unavoidable. Pakistan cricket is worth saving because it has provided such rich entertainment and produced so many extraordinary players. Over the years the team has not always been the most attractive but it has often been the most compelling. Long may it last.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT US JUSTICE

By Yvonne Ridley

 

 

Many of us are still in a state of shock over the guilty verdict returned on Dr Aafia Siddiqui.image

The response from the people of Pakistan was predictable and overwhelming and I salute their spontaneous actions.

From Peshawar to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and beyond they marched in their thousands demanding the return of Aafia.

Even some of the US media expressed discomfort over the verdict returned by the jurors … there was a general feeling that something was not right.

Everyone had something to say, everyone that is except the usually verbose US Ambassador Anne Patterson who has spent the last two years briefing against Dr Aafia and her supporters.

This is the same woman who claimed I was a fantasist when I gave a press conference with Tehreek e Insaf leader Imran Khan back in July 2008 revealing the plight of a female prisoner in Bagram called the Grey Lady.

She said I was talking nonsense and stated categorically that the prisoner I referred to as “650” did not exist.image

By the end of the month she changed her story and said there had been a female prisoner but that she was most definitely not Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

By that time Aafia had been gunned down at virtually point blank range in an Afghan prison cell jammed full of more than a dozen US soldiers, FBI agents and Afghan police.

Her Excellency briefed the media that the prisoner had wrested an M4 gun from one soldier and fired off two rounds and had to be subdued. The fact these bullets failed to hit a single person in the cell and simply disappeared did not resonate with the diplomat.

In a letter dripping in untruths on August 16 2008 she decried the “erroneous and irresponsible media reports regarding the arrest of Ms Aafia Siddiqui”. She went on to say: “Unfortunately, there are some who have an interest in simply distorting the facts in an effort to manipulate and inflame public opinion. The truth is never served by sensationalism…”

When Jamaat Islami invited me on a national tour of Pakistan to address people about the continued abuse of Dr Aafia and the truth about her incarceration in Bagram, the US Ambassador continued to issue rebuttals.

She assured us all that Dr Aafia was being treated humanely had been given consular access as set out in international law … hmm. Well I have a challenge for Ms Patterson today. I challenge her to repeat every single word she said back then and swear it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.image

As Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s trial got underway, the US Ambassador and some of her stooges from the intelligence world laid on a lavish party at the US Embassy in Islamabad for some hand-picked journalists where I’ve no doubt in between the dancing, drinks and music they were carefully briefed about the so-called facts of the case.

Interesting that some of the potentially incriminating pictures taken at the private party managed to find the Ambassador was probably hoping to minimize the impact the trial would have on the streets of Pakistan proving that, for the years she has been holed up and barricaded behind concrete bunkers and barbed wire, she has learned nothing about this great country of Pakistan or its people.

One astute Pakistani columnist wrote about her: “The respected lady seems to have forgotten the words of her own country’s 16th president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.

And the people of Pakistan proved they are nobody’s fool and responded to the guilty verdict in New York in an appropriate way.

When injustice is the law it is the duty of everyone to rise up and challenge that injustice in any way possible.

The response – so far – has been restrained and measured but it is just the start. A sentence has yet to be delivered by Judge Richard Berman in May.

Of course there has been a great deal of finger pointing and blame towards the jury in New York who found Dr Aafia guilty of attempted murder.

Observers asked how they could ignore the science and the irrefutable facts … there was absolutely no evidence linking Dr Aafia to the gun, no bullets, no residue from firing it.

But I really don’t think we can blame the jurors for the verdict – you see the jury simply could not handle the truth. Had they taken the logical route and gone for the science and the hard, cold, clinical facts it would have meant two things. It would have meant around eight US soldiers took the oath and lied in court to save their own skins and careers or it would have meant that Dr Aafia Siddiqui was telling the truth.

And, as I said before, the jury couldn’t handle the truth. Because that would have meant that the defendant really had been kidnapped, abused, tortured and held in dark, secret prisons by the US before being shot and put on a rendition flight to New York. It would have meant that her three children – two of them US citizens – would also have been kidnapped, abused and tortured by the US.

They say ignorance is bliss and this jury so desperately wanted not to believe that the US could have had a hand in the kidnapping of a five-month -old baby boy, a five-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother.

They couldn’t handle the truth … it is as simple as that.

Well I, and many others across the world like me, can’t handle any more lies. America’s reputation is lying in the lowest gutters in Pakistan at the moment and it can’t sink any lower.

The trust has gone, there is only a burning hatred and resentment towards a superpower which sends unmanned drones into villages to slaughter innocents.

It is fair to say that America’s goodwill and credibility is all but washed up with most honest, decent citizens of Pakistan.

And I think even Her Excellency Anne Patterson recognizes that fact which is why she is now keeping her mouth shut.

If she has any integrity and any self respect left she should stand before the Pakistan people and ask for their forgiveness for the drone murders, the extra judicial killings, the black operations, the kidnapping, torture and rendition of its citizens, the water-boarding, the bribery, the corruption and, not least of all, the injustice handed out to Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her family.

She should then pick up the phone to the US President and tell him to release Aafia and return Pakistan’s most loved, respected and famous daughter and reunite her with the two children who are still missing.

Then she should re-read her letter of August 16, 2008 and write another … one of resignation.

* Yvonne Ridley is a patron of Cageprisoners which first brought the plight of Dr Aafia Siddiqui to the world’s attention shortly after her kidnap in March 2003. The award-winning, investigative journalist also co-produced the documentary In Search of Prisoner 650 with film-maker Hassan al Banna Ghani which concluded that the Grey Lady of Bagram was Dr Aafia Siddiqui

By Yvonne Ridley

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