The religious-political parties of Pakistan are busy in scoring points by paying visits, one after another, to the house of Fouzia Siddiqui, sister of imprisoned Pakistani national in the US on charges of aiding terrorists and firing on US soldiers in Afghansitan Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, to see the imprisoned doctor`s recently released daughter, the 12 year old Maryam Siddiqui. These visits are particularly published on national and local newspapers since a greater majority of Pakistani public hold that Dr. Aafia has been imprisoned illegally only because she is a Paksitani Muslim and a competent doctor who`s envied by the US agencies. And here comes interesting but what I would call truth revealing incidents.
Recently the Chairman of Standing Committee on Kashmir in the Pakistani parliament, and leader of the religious political party Jamaat-e-Ulema Islam, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman paid a visit to the same house to greet the released child. However, things apparently didn`t go his way. The child to be visited was frightened by the mere appearance of Maulana Sahib and shrank into a corner. Initially she refused to meet Maulana Sahib but upon assurances that she would be under protection and wouldn`t be taken back to Afghanistan, she agreed to meet the honourable guest along with her grandmother, the mother of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
This incident elaborates how frightened an innocent child gets on seeing a man of such a physique with such a big beard, particularly if the child has a bad memory of bearded guys. As I read the story on a Pakistani National Newspaper today, I was taken back to the September of 1996 when Taliban entered Kabul city and we, as children, would run away seeing any bearded strange man taking for Taliban brutal fighters whose fame for brutality had already reached the ears of Kabulis before their entrance into Kabul.
Though it was funny in the beginning for me to read such a news merely laughing at the awkward treatment the honourable Maulana Sahib had received but as I pondered upon it, I was convinced that it has something to do with the psyche of the child that`s delicate enough to be frightened by such appearances instantly. I hope Maulana Sahib and his followers have learnt a lesson from this behaviour of the little Maryam Siddiqui, who reacted so under her psychological needs.