Tuesday 23 January 2018

Robert Fisk: What happened to those children of the grey lady?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Pakistan at the weekend
Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Pakistan at the weekend

Robert Fisk

Dr Shams Hassan Faruqi sits amid his rocks and geological records, shakes his bearded head and stares at me. "I strongly doubt if the children are alive," he says. "Probably, they have expired."

He says this in a strange way, mournful but resigned, yet somehow he seems oddly unmoved. As a witness, supposedly, to the mysterious 2008 re-appearance of Aafia Siddiqui -- the "most wanted woman in the world", according to former US attorney general John Ashcroft -- I guess this 73-year-old Pakistani geologist is used to the limelight. But the children, I ask him again. What happened to the children?

All such mysteries require a "story-so-far". It goes like this. Aafia Siddiqui, a 38-year-old neuroscientist, an MIT alumna and Brandeis university PhD, disappeared after leaving her sister's home for Karachi Airport in 2003, taking Ahmed, Sulieman and Maryam with her.

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