IHC: Foreign ministry’s report on Dr Aafia ‘unsatisfactory’

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Observer Report

Islamabad

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday termed the foreign ministry’s report on Dr Aafia Siddiqui ‘unsatisfactory’, and summoned an officer at the foreign secretary-level to the next hearing.

A petition filed for the release and repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui was heard by IHC Justice Amir Farooq, wherein the foreign ministry’s report was presented by Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood.

During the trial, the counsel argued that it is the duty of the state to provide protection to its citizens; however, no whereabouts of Dr Aafia are known.

The court asked what documentary evidence had the Government of Pakistan provided it regarding the case. “What value does a report hold without documentary evidence?” the court observed. In 2010, a US federal court in Manhattan had sentenced Dr Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years imprisonment for the attempted murder of US military personnel in Afghanistan. She is serving her sentence at the Federal Medical Centre, Carswell, Fort Worth in Texas.

Dr Siddiqui’s followers insisted she was detained in Pakistan and shifted to US custody. Both US and Pakistani officials, though, said she was arrested in Afghanistan.

Dr Siddiqui, an MIT graduate, supposedly disappeared for five years before she was located in Afghanistan. It is believed that she snatched a gun during an interrogation in Afghanistan and tried to shoot a US soldier.

She was also accused of working for Al Qaeda.

Read More: Govt taking serious steps for Dr Aafia’s return: Babar

Will IK demand Dr Aafia’s release?

Fauzia Siddiqui said she wants to know if her sister is alive. While talking to the media outside the courtroom, she stated that the foreign office does not care about everyday citizens. The government advocates say that Dr Aafia is in Washington DC, she said. They don’t even know she has been detained in Texas, she added.

On September 23, 2010, a New York court sentenced Dr Siddiqui to 86 years in prison.

https://www.justice.gov/archive/opa/pr/2008/August/siddiqui-aafia-complaint.pdf