US promises to look into Aafia Siddiqui’s case, says Pakistan

Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari meets Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui, sister of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui last week. The minster said the Government is trying its best to bring Aafia back to Pakistan. (Ministry for Human Rights photo)
Updated 08 November 2018
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US promises to look into Aafia Siddiqui’s case, says Pakistan

  • The US envoy to Islamabad has promised to look at the request for rights of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, foreign office spokesman has told Arab News.
  • Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, sister of Aafia, said she will be summoned for a meeting next week on her sister’s case.

KARACHI: The US envoy to Islamabad has promised to look into Pakistan’s request that the human and legal rights of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui are requested, foreign office spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal told Arab News.
Siddiqui, 46, was convicted in 2010 of seven counts of attempted murder and assault of US personnel in Afghanistan. She is serving an 86-year jail term at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.
Earlier, the foreign office in a statement issued on Wednesday said that the Government of Pakistan has been raising the issue of Siddiqui with US authorities regularly.
“Pakistan’s CG in Houston pays consular visits to Dr. Siddiqui, periodically, to inquire about her wellbeing and conveys her messages to Dr. Aafia’s family,” read the statement, adding that the issue of respecting Siqqiqui’s human and legal rights was also raised in the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Ambassador Alice Wells on Nov. 6. “The US side has promised to look into our request,” the statement read.
According to the statement, the foreign minister will soon meet Siddiqui’s sister in Islamabad.
Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, Aafia’s sister, confirmed to Arab News that she has received a call from the foreign office about a meeting.
“The agenda and date has not been shared yet. I got a call from a foreign office official who told me that I will be summoned for a meeting next week,” she told Arab News.
Dr. Siddiqui, during a consular visit to her by Aisha Farooqui, the Pakistan’s consul general in Houston on Oct. 9, had requested that her message was sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In the message, seen by Arab News, Dr. Siddiqui said that she wanted to get out of prison because her imprisonment in the US was illegal as she was kidnapped and taken to the US. “Imran Khan had supported me in the past also. I have always considered him one of my biggest heroes,” read the message Farooqui sent to Islamabad.
Siddiqui’s sister argued that through the “Transfer Of Offenders Ordinance-2002,” the Government of Pakistan may transfer Aafia to a Pakistani jail. “The least we have been demanding is not to free Aafia but to transfer her to a prison in Pakistan for completing the remaining term in her country,” she said.
On May 23 earlier this year, Pakistan’s consul-general in Houston met Dr. Siddiqui, who complained about physical and sexual abuse by prison staff.
“She was constantly disturbed in her room and her privacy was consistently violated by jail staff who harassed her, threatened her and attempted to sexually abuse her on a number of occasions,” Farooqui wrote in her report, a copy of which was leaked to Arab News.
Siddiqui’s sister, Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, had told Arab News: “The leaking of this report will jeopardize Aafia’s life further as the prison guards will turn more vengeful.
“No words can describe the pain this report has inflicted on our hearts. No words can describe our agony.” 
Farooqui said Siddiqui had claimed that staff “barged into her room, confiscated her belongings, made fun of her and even snatched her scarf off her head.”
The consul-general had recommended Islamabad seek a US Department of Justice inquiry into Siddiqui’s claims.


Afghanistan clinches surprise win against Pakistan in World Cup warm-up

Updated 25 May 2019
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Afghanistan clinches surprise win against Pakistan in World Cup warm-up

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi's unbeaten 74 paved the way for Afghanistan’s victory
  • Pakistan bowled out for 262 after captain Sarfaraz Ahmed decided to bat first

LONDON: Hashmatullah Shahidi’s unbeaten 74 paved the way for Afghanistan to clinch a surprise three-wicket win over Pakistan in Friday’s World Cup warm-up match in Bristol.
After being routed by England in their recent one-day international series, this was another blow for Pakistan just six days before the World Cup begins.
Pakistan were bowled out for 262 after captain Sarfaraz Ahmed decided to bat first.
Mohammad Nabi took 3-46 to keep Pakistan from establishing control despite a powerful innings of 112 from 108 balls from Babar Azam.
Only Shoaib Malik’s 44 offered any other threat for Pakistan, who struggled to keep Afghanistan in check during the run chase.
They came up against dynamic effort from Hazratullah Zazai, who scorched Pakistan with a 28-ball 49 in the first Powerplay.
From that point on, the asking rate was always in control, with Hashmatullah’s 102-ball innings aided by Nabi’s quickfire 34 as Afghanistan sealed the win with two balls left.