Aafia Siddiqui’s sister to contest against JI’s Naimatullah

KARACHI: The sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Fauzia Siddiqui will be contesting elections against former mayor of Karachi and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Naimatullah Siddiqui.

She originally decided to contest from NA-250 (Karachi) in order to take on former President Pervez Musharraf. Now, his nomination papers for that constituency have been rejected and one has to wait and see whether he will file an appeal or not.

Fauzia, who decided to contest as an independent after getting a cold shoulder from the JI, is still in the running. Despite the JI’s best efforts, she has refused to withdraw. A senior JI leader in Karachi confirmed that efforts were made to convince her not to contest but she insisted and there is not much they can do to change her mind.

Sources say the tough JI conditionality for selection of the candidates may have prevented them from nominating or even supporting her in the elections. But one wonders why the Jamaat, which has seen its influence in Karachi whittled away, did not cash in on this opportunity.

After all, the Pasban, which comprises of youth members of the JI, have led a campaign too free Dr Aafia since 2005 and are still backing Fauzia Siddiqui. They too are now in a fix.

However, the JI is now giving more importance to its other youth wing, Shabab-e-Milli , and seems to have practically abandoned the Pasban, which was promoted by former JI Ameer, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, in the ’90s.

Fauzia came to the fore after 2005, when for the first time a foreign female journalist disclosed the presence of her sister Aafia in an Afghan jail.