3 February 2023
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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday submitted details of communication with the United States (US) for the repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), ARY News reported.

The MIT-trained neuro-scientist, Aafia Siddiqui, is serving an 86-year prison sentence after being convicted by the US court of seven counts of attempted murder and assault on US military personnel in Afghanistan.

A petition filed for the release and repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui was heard by IHC Judge, Justice Sardar Aijaz Ishaq Khan.

The record was submitted by the FO on the directions of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The bench hearing the case expressed satisfaction on the communication record with the US for the repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

Later, the hearing was adjourned until December 7. The Foreign Office has been directed by the IHC to submit a complete record of the communication with Washington.

Background

In 2003, Siddiqui was wanted by the FBI for questioning for possible ties to al Qaeda and was detained by Pakistani authorities, according to U.S. media reports at the time.

U.S. officials alleged that when the Afghan police captured Siddiqui in July 2008, she was carrying two pounds (900 grams) of sodium cyanide, which releases a highly toxic gas, notes that referred to a mass casualty attack, and a list of U.S. landmarks.

Siddiqui was never charged with links to terrorism. The FBI agents, U.S. soldiers and interpreters said that as they were about to interrogate her at an Afghan police compound in Ghazni, Afghanistan, she grabbed a rifle and began shooting at them. None of them were wounded, but Siddiqui was shot in the abdomen when they returned fire.

Abdul Gh Lone

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