LAHORE - President Mamnoon Hussain or Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should write a letter to President Obama to send Aafia to Pakistan because she is a Pakistani national. If they write a simple letter of request to the US President, who has commuted sentence of many prisoners as well as freed some, Dr Aafia could be brought to Pakistan.

Ismat Siddiqui, mother of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, told The Nation on Wednesday.

She was constantly coughing and trying to catch her breath while talking to this scribe. She was definitely distressed and was relying on the ray of hope that President Obama is likely to free some prisoners before his term ends.

“The Foreign Office states that a letter has been sent to the US President but Aafia’s lawyers Stephen Down and Kathy Manley claim that no such letter has been received in the US

“The lawyers state if the Pakistan government makes a simple request Aafia could be sent to Pakistan. The Prime Minister and other leaders promised to help but now is high time they showed their commitment by writing this letter to the US President. We have heard that Obama intends to free about a 100 prisoners,” Ismat said.

She recently went through eye surgery and mainly due to the fact that she continues to weep day and night for her daughter.

“They tell me not to weep. I do not weep in front of others but can’t restrain myself when I am alone. I visualise the pain that Aafia must be going through and this sends chills down my spine. I have heard how badly she has been treated. How can I be at peace?” she questioned.

Then she narrated a verse of a poem “Shahi ki tamanna ho, na fateh ho parishan kunn. “Shab-e-tareek mein ronay kee lazat gar Khuda day day.” (No wish for royalty, nor any anxiety for the victorious.

“If God gives charm to weep in the darkness.”

 After reciting these verses she broke down and could not talk further.

It is pertinent to mention here that last year in February Ismat Siddiqui sent a letter of request to President Obama requesting him to release her daughter.

She believes if such a request is made either on the part of President or Prime Minster Aafia would be released.

In her letter to the President of US she had written – “Mr President, my daughter Dr Aafia Siddiqui, is someone about whom you may have already heard something. ...The truth is that Aafia is a mother of three and a brilliant Muslim woman whose only passion was to bring education to her people. For this she studied at the finest institutions in the world including MIT and Brandeis in the United States. Then somewhere in the blind aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Aafia became a victim of the war on terror.

“I appeal to you to use your Presidential power of pardon and undo one of the gravest injustices of our time. This will be a gesture that will gain you immense goodwill in the Muslim world that millions of dollars in aid will not. This simple gesture on your part will warm the heart of a dying mother and revive the American way of mercy and compassion.”

The story of Dr Aafia is heartrending. It is high time an effort should be made to end her misery and pain. The government should not shy away from helping her when it is still possible.