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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) observed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) seemed not playing its due role for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and asked the ministry to play an active role in this regard.

A single bench of Justice Sardar Aijaz Ishaque Khan, on Friday, heard the constitutional petition of Dr Fowzia Siddiqui who moved the court through his lawyer Imran Shafiq advocate.

During the hearing, Justice Ishaque observed that the MoFA seems incapable to understand the legal obstacles for the release and repartition of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. The lawyer said their stance was that not only the required capacity was not there but there was also a lack of willpower.

He said they have submitted a confidential and privileged communication of the US lawyer Clive Safford Smith meeting with Dr Aafia Siddiqui and his suggestion regarding a way out to seek the release of Dr Aafia.

He said that the court asked the MoFA to provide the required assistance and record to Clive Safford Smith J, who is due in Pakistan in May to assist the court. He would also take the necessary legal course in the US.

However, the noted neuro-physician of the country and leader of Aafia Movement Pakistan Dr Fowzia Siddiqui said the hurdles for the release of Dr Aafia are not in the USA but here in Pakistan. She urged the government to change its attitude and take serious efforts for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

In 2010, a US federal court in Manhattan sentenced Dr Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years imprisonment for the attempted murder of US military personnel in Afghanistan. She is serving her sentence at the Federal Medical Centre, Carswell, Fortworth in Texas.

According to US court papers, she was carrying two kilos of sodium cyanide hidden in moisturizer bottles, along with plans for chemical weapons and New York's Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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