If he can grant visas to Blackwater types, why not me? She questions
By AHMED QURAISHI
Saturday, 25 September 2010.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney says she was coming to Pakistan with information to share with the Government that could have helped avert the sentencing of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui but she was stopped by the Pakistani embassy in Washington from proceeding to Pakistan.
This was Ms. McKinney’s first reaction to reports that Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington Mr. Husain Haqqani denied her visa to Pakistan. The information is part of a wider list of allegations against Mr. Haqqani on his role in the trial of Dr. Aafia.
Here’s my brief interview with her:
QURAISHI: What is your reaction to the sentencing of Dr. Aafia?
MCKINNEY: What an incredible sentence for Dr. Aafia! What an incredible reflection of “justice” in the United States. The United States territory was stolen from indigenous people who were then eliminated by genocide. Africans were stolen from their homeland and transported to the U.S. and enslaved for centuries. Anyone who is surprised by incidents of injustice in the United States is someone who is not aware of U.S. history.
I wanted to come to Pakistan to share new information with the Pakistani Government and public that might have prevented Dr. Aafia from receiving this 86-year sentence in the United States.
QURAISHI: Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani has declined to grant you a visa to Pakistan. British journalist Yvonne Ridley has reminded him in her latest column of how he’d been issuing visas to Blackwater and other DoD private security contractors over the past 2 years. What is your reaction to you being denied a visa to visit Pakistan? What did you plan to do in Pakistan?
MCKINNEY: I was both shocked and saddened by Ambassador Haqqani’s decision to deny my visa request. I love the Pakistani people who have opened their hearts to me over the years. Pakistani-Americans are counted among my dearest friends and supporters. So to be denied the opportunity to visit Pakistan was extremely heart-wrenching for me.
I have read with great interest that people whose intentions are to do Pakistan harm have been granted visas by the Pakistani Embassy in the United States; I contrast that situation with what happened to me. I do not hold Pakistanis responsible for this disappointment and I do hope that in the future, the Pakistani government will overrule the decision of Ambassador Haqqani. My heart remains full of warmth for Pakistanis and I will continue to press the citizens of the United States to vote for peace candidates who will implement policies of peace, both for Pakistan and the United States and for all countries around the world.
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