‘Family pressured into becoming pawns by JI lawyer’ | Pakistan Today

‘Family pressured into becoming pawns by JI lawyer’

KARACHI – Malik Munsaf Awan, the lawyer who volunteered to represent Muhammad Faheem’s family in court in the case against US citizen Raymond Davis, is allegedly pressuring the family into ‘becoming pawns’ for rightwing elements, sources close to the family told Pakistan Today on Monday.
Awan, who refused to comment on the issue, is associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and had come to Faheem’s family to volunteer to represent them pro bono. Soon after, however, he started exercising strict control over the case, while allegedly disregarding the family’s wishes, sources close to the family said.
The latest in this series is the fact that three members of Faheem’s family – his father, Muhammad Shamshad; brother Muhammad Waseem; and one of his deceased widow Shumaila’s maternal uncles, Muhammad Afzal – were brought to Karachi on Monday by Pasban, an NGO associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Muhammad Sarwar, Shumaila’s maternal uncle and legal guardian, who is pursuing her case and was subjected to two brutal attacks over the past week, meanwhile, refused to come to Karachi with the three men. While the flight was delayed for almost three hours, right after Shamshad, Waseem and Afzal landed, they were whisked off to the house of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who has been sentenced to 86 years’ imprisonment by a US court on charges of terrorism.
During a joint press conference at Dr Siddiqui’s house, Waseem claimed that the family would agree to waive charges against Davis “in exchange for Dr Siddiqui”. Aafia Siddiqui’s mother concurred and added that according to Shariah, Faheem’s family could also demand Diyat (blood money).
Pasban office-bearers, meanwhile, seemed completely clueless. The NGO’s Karachi President Azam Minhas was initially unaware of exactly who would be landing in Karachi, nor did he know the names of the two men killed by Davis. “Shumaila’s uncle is coming to Karachi, and some members of the family, I think,” he said. “What was the name of her husband?”
On Monday morning, Pasban had sent out an announcement stating that ‘a widow’ in the Davis case would be arriving in Karachi later in the day. A quick check with the family of Faizan Haider, the second man killed by Davis, proved that nothing of the sort was going to happen. “She has nothing to gain by going to Karachi. She does not want to be used for other people’s agendas,” Faizan’s brother-in-law, Haider Ali, told Pakistan Today.
Faizan’s brother, Mumtaz Haider said, meanwhile, that they had been approached by Pasban, but had refused the offer to go to Karachi. Faizan’s family has a different lawyer, Asad Manzoor Butt, who is also associated with the JI, but has left decisions up to the family. “We will not be pawns for other people. We’re going to fight our case in court,” Mumtaz Haider said.

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