Is Dr Aafia Siddiqui dead in US jail?
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has officially requested the United States for consular access to Dr Aafia Siddiqui to clarify the rumours about her death in US custody.
Talking to a private TV channel, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that the Pakistani mission and attorney are in touch with the US authorities regarding the health of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
He added that the US officials had not confirmed any reports about Dr Aafia.
However, Dr Fowzia Siddiqui clarified that her sister Dr Aafia Siddiqui is alive in US prison. She said that American prison authorities assured her that Dr Aafia is alive. She said that rumours about the death of Aafia Siddiqui are very "painful and cruel".
Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, is serving 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.
Earlier this year, she had refused to meet Pakistan’s consul general for processing her mercy petition.
In a report submitted to the Islamabad High Court in January, the foreign ministry informed that “the consul general approached prison authorities for consular access at the earliest. Only after the intervention of the embassy in Washington, a special consular visit was arranged for the consul general on Sept 24, 2020, but the consent form could not be signed during that meeting. The consul general again went to meet Dr Aafia on Dec 15, 2020, but prison authorities informed him that Dr Aafia has refused to meet him”.
According to the report, Dr Aafia Siddiqui had then tested Covid-19 negative and her mental condition was stable.