Monday, February 14, 2011

Pakistanis Demand Exchange of Aafia Siddiqui for Raymond Davis

Pak Minister: They want Davis, We want Aafia
Pakistani media: NATION, DAWN, The NEWS and other sources...

“We will demand the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui if America demands the release of Raymond Davis,” said Federal Law Minister Babar Awan at a press conference in Gujranwala on Sunday.

Yet, at just about noon ET New York Time, reports indicate the Pakistan authorities seem to be weakening. Legal/justice official states that Davis should be released to the US according to a Geneva law on diplomats.

However, many Pakistani lawyers and experts on the rulings for diplomats disagree.

If Davis is released and without an exchange for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, all indications are that there will be way more trouble for the US administration and military than expected. Meantime, here are some recent reports:

Feb 14,2011

GUJRANWALA/LAHORE– Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan said on Sunday that the United States has “a repatriation call (for Davis) and we have a call (for Aafia)”. Awan’s statement, the first of its kind by a state functionary, came during his talk with journalists as he visited Gujranwala to offer condolences for PPP City President Lala Muhammad Idrees’s demise. He made another similar statement on his arrival in Lahore later in the day.

A US court has sentenced Dr Aafia to prolonged imprisonment on charges of abetting militants in Afghanistan, a charge Dr Aafia and his family vehemently deny. There had been calls from political and religious parties of Pakistan to free Dr Aafia in view of her deteriorating health, but the US never paid heed to such calls.

Awan wants to swap Davis with Dr. Aafia Siddiqui


Feb 13, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's federal law minister has called on the US authorities to exchange a US national currently facing trial for a double murder in Lahore for a Pakistani doctor who was sentenced to 86 years in jail in the US.

“We will demand the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui if America demands the release of Raymond Davis,” said Federal Law Minister Babar Awan at a press conference in Gujranwala on Sunday.

Thirty-eight-year-old Aafia Siddiqui, a highly-educated Pakistani neurologist, is serving 86 years in prison after being found guilty of shooting at two US soldiers in dubious circumstances while in custody in Afghanistan.

The case of Davis, who shot dead two Pakistanis in late January, has raised tensions between Pakistan and the US. The US government insists he enjoys diplomatic immunity and should be released.

Awan’s statement shows a different position than that adopted by the Zardari government, which says the courts will decide Davis’ fate.

Awan, who normally articulates the policy statements of President Asif Ali Zardari, has picked the line of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which has been demanding a prisoner exchange. President Zardari also recently canceled a visit to the US due to the case.


  1. See new shocking item on Dr. Aafia at One Heart For Peace

    Note new items coming in hinting at possibility of EXCHANGE (Dr. Siddiqui for Mr. Davis) as well as other indications Pakistani court plans to hear the Davis case out in Pakistan.

  2. Last updated: 52 mins ago as of 3 pm ET Feb. 15 2011:

    Wahab’s comment on Davis not official, says Presidency

    This is neither the policy of the party nor the government, added Farhatullah Babar.

    He said the government and party had “made it very clear that Raymond Davis’ case is before court and the court will decide the issue”.

    ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari’s spokesman on Monday dismissed a statement given by a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) spokeswoman about Raymond Davis, saying that it was her personal view.

    The PPP information secretary Fozia Wahab in an attempt to dilute anger over a US official accused of murdering two Pakistanis had said that diplomats have immunity and Davis had an official visa.