Maryam Siddiqui, daughter of Dr Aafia Siddiqui speaks about her ordeal for the first time in an emotional letter to Maryam Sharif- daughter of the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Dear Ms Maryam Nawaz Sharif
As Representatives of Pakistan, Do you think you would be true to your nation without raising the issue of Dr Aafia Siddiqui ? Her imprisonment alone is a slap on Pakistan’s honor and her ordeal is a disgrace to motherhood.
Maryam Aapi, my name is Maryam too, but I am Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s daughter. I was 3 years old when my mother was snatched away or rather I was snatched away from her. Do you know how it feels spending years in a dungeon alone without a mother? Spending dark and gloomy days locked in a cell? Well I do! Now by the grace of Allah as I open my eyes to freedom, into the loving embrace of my aunt and grandmother, the clouds of grief still loom over me. Can you imagine a life where you know you have a great mother yet can’t see her? Imagine twelve years of your childhood without a mothers embrace and how would you feel, knowing that those that can make a difference prefer to remain silent?
Imagine when every other child in school talks about their mother how my eyes fill with tears. Imagine when people come up to you and ask how your mother is doing, where would you find the courage to respond that you don’t even know if your mother is still alive. How can those words come to lips without spilling streams of tears and choking with emotion? How can you stop crying for a minute to tell the world that no one really helps you it’s just words, no leader cares?
If you ask me I can’t . This is the first time I am writing to anybody and the pain trying to express my feeling is greater than my self, it’s unbearable, it’s overwhelming and takes over my entire being leaving nothing but despair.
My aunt keeps filling our days with fun and projects but I am not a baby any more.
I see my grandmother die everyday when my mom doesn’t show up, I see her loose all sanity thinking of her daughter. I crave for my mother even more wondering how she must be suffering. How much longer will this agony last. Is there anyone to help me?
Please give me hope, give me faith that you do care. Give me trust that you people in the power corridors of Pakistan and USA are indeed humans and not just heartless, mindless characters out of a horror movie. Please help bring my mother home. Don’t do this for me, do this for the sake of every daughter of Pakistan. I have seen my aunt give up everything, her health, money, career yet still smile and work overtime to fulfil our needs and treat us like royalty. She does not loose hope but It destroys me to feel helpless and so I took the liberty of writing this letter.
My voice may not be heard in the power corridors but yours can and that is why I look up to you. You are beautiful, talented, and an influential woman. You have the power to speak for me, please do not ignore my cries, rather echo them till they bring my mother home. Please help me, you have the power and with power comes responsibility, it is a test that you must succeed in. You must use the power to speak for the oppressed to help those in need and to stand up for what is right. You must bring my mother back. You have a father who rules over Pakistan and who better to persuade him to fulfil his promise and national duty than you?
I was named Maryam also, what if fate had switched our places wouldn’t you want me to help you? I request you to raise my mothers freedom in the White House and persuade Mrs Michelle Obama and president Obama to release her . Persuade her the way you would if God forbid, your mother was locked up. Persuade her because every woman in pakistan is counting on you, including my friends and I. Persuade all because it is the right thing to do. We expect nothing less than my mother’s safe return from you and your father.
Maryam Muhammad (Siddiqui)