KARACHI - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States should be an opportunity to improve people-to-people relations between the two countries, and one of the perquisites should be release and repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the Aafia Movement Pakistan stated in a statement released on Sunday.

Movement chief Dr Fowzia Siddiqui said the people of Pakistan expected that Nawaz Sharif would take up all the issues affecting Pakistan-US bilateral relations, including drone attacks, terrorism, Pakistan’s foreign debt and detention of Aafia Siddiqui.

She recalled the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had already showed a serious commitment toward the cause of Aafia.

She said trafficking of Aafia and her children from Karachi to foreign torture centers and jails was a blemish on human rights record of both Pakistan and the US.

The foreign media broke the story of illegal detention of Aafia in Afghanistan while the champion of democracy and human rights, the US, instead of giving her justice, handed her a ridiculously-long imprisonment which was just an addition of a shameful chapter in the history of justice system of the US.

Fowzia was optimistic that the Aafia issue would be discussed during Sharif’s visit, and said an early release of Aafia would certainly help in easing the strained ties.

She appealed to the administration and people of the US to show a humanitarian gesture by releasing Aafia and ensuring her reunion with her children and family.

JAMAAT WON’T ACCEPT PSM SELL-OFF: Jamaat-e-Islami will not accept the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills and other state institutions on the diktats of International Monetary Fund, party’s Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said on Sunday.

He questioned why the PML-N government did not make public record about irregularities in the PSM. He was of the view that if the plundered money was brought back, this institution could be made a profitable entity.

Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Steel Labour Union at Idara-e-Noor Haq, the Jamaat leader held out assurances of his party’s full support and cooperation.

Union President Haji Khan Lashari, General Secretary Zafar Khan, Vice President Tariq Mehmood and Joint Secretary Aaqif Naqash informed Naeemur Rehman about the deteriorating situation of the PSM and non-payment of salaries to employees. JI Information Secretary Zahid Askari was also present on the occasion.

Rehman demanded the government to take serious steps towards converting the PSM into a profitable institution and secure the future of thousands of employees and their families.

MUNAWAR HASAN TO PRESIDE CONDOLENCE REFERENCE IN MEMORY OF SHAMIM AHMED: Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan will preside over the condolence reference for Shamim Ahmed, a prominent intellectual and organizer of Idara-e-Tameer-e-Adab, Pakistan. According to a statement issued here on Sunday, the condolence reference will be organised at Idara-e-Noor Haq on Tuesday.

JI Sindh chief Dr Mairajul Huda Siddiqui, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, prominent scholar Dr Moinuddin Aqeel, prominent columnist Azeem Sarwar, President of Idara-e-Tameer-e-Adab Muzaffar Hashmi, General Secretary Hakim Mujahid Mehmood Barkati will address the gathering.