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Govt urged to take up Aafia’s case at top level

ISLAMABAD, Jan 15: The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights and Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked the government on Thursday to take up Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s case with the United States at the highest level to secure her early repatriation.

The two committees at a joint meeting also called for human rights organisations in Pakistan to take up the issue with international rights groups to secure her release from a US prison.

The meeting, presided over by Senator S.M. Zafar, was convened to discuss a report prepared on the issue by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The meeting expressed the hope that Pakistani expatriates and organisations in the US would join forces to resolve this humanitarian issue.

The committees noted that Dr Siddiqui had undergone unprecedented torture, solitary confinement and eight years of imprisonment, and deserved to be repatriated immediately on humanitarian grounds.

In a unanimous resolution, the meeting condemned the humiliation and detention of the Pakistani doctor and termed it a violation of the International Convention on Human Rights.

The committee expressed satisfaction over the fact that the government had promised to provide better legal aid to Dr Siddiqui, if need arose.

The committee decided to send a copy of the resolution to US Ambassador to Pakistan and Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, the sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

Senators Mushahid Hussain Sayed, S.M Zafar, Saadia Abbasi and Talha Mehmood had met Dr Siddiqui in the US a few months back.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/16/2009

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