IHC orders foreign ministry to arrange US visas for Dr Aafia’s family

By: News Desk
Published: 04:37 PM, 24 Jun, 2022
IHC orders foreign ministry to arrange US visas for Dr Aafia’s family
Caption: File photos.
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Ordering the Foreign Ministry to arrange US visas for the family of Pakistani neuroscientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently serving 86-year jail term at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas for attempted murder and other felonies, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday adjourned hearing of the case for 30 days, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

IHC Judge Sardar Ijaz Ishaq Khan heard the petition filed by Dr. Aafia’s sister Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui for her release.

Dr. Fowzia appeared in the court along with her counsel Dr. Sajid Qureshi, while director USA represented the Foreign Ministry

The director presented in the court a report on Dr. Aafia.     

Dr. Sardar Ijaz Ishaq Khan, on the occasion, inquired from the petitioner whether she had a contact with her sister. 

The petitioner’s lawyer replied in negative. 

Foreign Ministry official told the court that the USA jail administration had said that Dr. Aafia did not want to meet her family.   

“It is simply beyond my comprehension as to why she will refuse to meet her family,” counsel for the petitioner wondered. 

The foreign ministry official said that his ministry would try to get visas issued to Dr. Aafia’s family members so that they could go the USA and see her. 

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Fowzia said that every time her brother in the USA went to the Texas jail to meet his sister, he was told by the jail administration that she had died. 

She said she and other members of her family feared that jail administration’s statement might be true. 

Dr. Fowzia went on to say that a lawyer in the USA had once said that when he had gone to the jail to see Dr. Aafia, he found her seriously injured. 

The IHC judge asked the petitioner as to what kind of remedy she wanted from the court if the jail administration was not ready to arrange her and her family’s meeting with Dr. Aafia. “Do you want to go to the USA to see your sister?” he asked Dr. Fowzia.  

She replied that although she wanted to go to the USA, but the authorities would have to ensure her safety in that country.   

For a period from 1990, Dr. Aafia studied in the United States and obtained PhD degree in neuroscience from Brandeis University in 2001. 

Later, she returned to Pakistan for a time following the 9/11 attacks in the USA.

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad had allegedly named her a courier and financier for al-Qaeda, and she was placed on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations' Seeking Information – Terrorism list; the only woman to have featured on the list.

Around this time, she and her three children were allegedly kidnapped in Pakistan.

Reporter: Ihtesham Kiani