ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court summoned a report on imprisoned scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington within three days.
A three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a petition filed by Aafia Siddiqui’s sister Dr Fouzia Siddiqui.
Fouzia Siddiqui told the bench that Pakistani consul general Aisha Farooqui recently visited Aafia Siddiqui in a Texas prison.
To this, Chief Justice Nisar remarked that there were rumours of the imprisoned scientist’s death. The Pakistan Embassy [in Washington] should tell whether Aafia is even alive, he remarked.
He then summoned a report on the state of Aafia Siddiqui from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington within three days.
The chief justice further remarked that all the court can do as of now is to wait for the report.
Aafia Siddiqui was indicted by a New York federal district court in September 2008 on charges of attempted murder and assault stemming from an incident in an interview with US authorities in Ghazni, charges which Siddiqui denied.
After 18 months in detention, she was tried and convicted in early 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison.
Reports circulating recently on social media suggested that Aafia Siddiqui had passed away in US captivity. However, Pakistani consul general Aisha Farooqui rejected the rumours after meeting her at Carswell detention facility in Fort Worth, Texas last month.
Aafia’s sister Dr Fauzia had said at the time that they had not been told anything about Aafia’s state by the Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the US prison officials.
She had said that they had had no contact with her sister for the past two years, adding that despite countless efforts, they could not find an answer to their queries from either Pakistani or US officials.