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Ministry asked how Aafia’s case can be taken to ICJ


Orginailly published in the Daily Times.


* Senate committee questions ‘US story’ on Dr Aafia
* Believes she was in US custody since 2003, charged in 2008


By Tahir Niaz


ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Saturday asked the Law Ministry to give its opinion on the possibilities of taking the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist detained in the US, to the International Court of Justice.

Earlier, Dr Aafia’s elder sister, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, informed the committee that the government had handed over her sister to US authorities in 2003, long before she was charged for terrorism in 2008.

Asked if the government had approached the International Court of Justice in this regard, Fauzia said authorities told her that they could not get US permission for the move.

The committee questioned the credibility of charges framed by US authorities against Pakistani scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui, saying she has been in US custody since 2003, but was charged ….. in Afghanistan in 2008.

It also summoned then interior minister and secretary to explain the circumstances under which she landed at Afghanistan’s Bagram airbase after going missing along with her three children from Karachi in 2003.

Dr Fauzia said Faisal Saleh Hayat, the interior minister at the time, confessed in a TV programme in 2003 that Pakistani authorities had handed over Dr Aafia to the US.

She said she could produce TV footage in which an FIA spokesman stated in 2003 that “(Dr Aafia) is practically in the hands of the FBI”.

She said the charges framed against her sister of firing on US soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008 were fake, as she was already in US custody….

…Committee Chairman Talha Mahmood asked ministry officials if Dr Aafia was provided consular access in Afghanistan before US authorities took her to the US.

Upon being told that she was not, Talha said Dr Aafia’s extradition to the US was illegal.

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