IHC Raises Concerns Over Foreign Office’s Communication Record in Aafia Siddiqui Case

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Tuesday presented details of contact with the United States (US) for the return of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Aafia Siddiqui, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-trained neuroscientist, is serving an 86-year jail term after being found guilty by a US court of seven charges of attempted murder and assault on US military troops in Afghanistan.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s appeal for release and repatriation was considered by IHC judge, Justice Sardar Aijaz Ishaq Khan.

The information was submitted by the MoFA in accordance with the orders of the Islamabad High Court. The court hearing the case voiced concern with the communication record.

The hearing was later postponed until December 7 while the IHC instructed the Foreign Office to provide a detailed record of communications with Washington.

According to US media reports at the time, Siddiqui was sought after by the FBI in 2003 for interrogation about alleged connections to Al Qaeda and was imprisoned by Pakistani officials.

According to US sources, when Afghan police apprehended Siddiqui in July 2008, she was reportedly holding two pounds (900 grams) of sodium cyanide, which emits a highly poisonous gas, notes referring to a mass killing strike, and a list of US monuments.

Siddiqui was never convicted of any terrorism-related offenses. According to FBI agents, US troops, and interpreters, she took a rifle and began firing at them as they were ready to question her inside an Afghan police facility in Ghazni. They were all unharmed, except for Siddiqui, who was injured in the abdomen as they returned fire.

Published by
Asma Sajid