Aafia Siddiqui case adjourned

ISLAMABAD: A virtual hearing on Aafia Siddiqui’s plea on her repatriation took place on Friday in the Islamabad High Court.

The court asked unrelated persons to leave the courtroom during proceedings, and then adjourned until next Thursday.

Yesterday, Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, Aafia’s sister, met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss the case. This was their second meeting in the last three months, having met once before she departed for the US to visit her sister in prison.

Dr Fowzia thanked the PM for his cooperation, and the Foreign Ministry for assisting her in securing a US visa and arranging her meetings with Dr Aafia in the US prison.

“By extending support to me in obtaining a US visa for my visit, you have laid the foundation of the release of Dr Aafia,” Dr Fowzia said.

She briefed the prime minister about the steps she planned to pursue for her sister’s release.

The PM directed the Foreign Ministry to remain fully engaged with the US government, as well as Pakistan’s mission in Washington, for Dr Aafia’s well-being. He also formed a ministerial committee that will gear up efforts for her release.

Last month, Dr Fowzia met her sister after 20 years at the Federal Medical Centre, Carswell. The meeting was arranged through plexiglass, and they were not allowed to hug or touch each other despite the two decade separation.

Dr Fowzia reported her sister to be in a dire physical condition, in a prison that her British lawyer Clive Smith has said “hides behind a pretense of fair treatment”.

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