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Parliamentarians to meet Dr Aafia, visit Guantanamo

KARACHI – A four-member parliamentary delegation, formed to meet Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and to visit Guantanamo Bay prison, has failed to finalise the date of its departure for the US, The Nation learnt here on Wednesday.

The delegation will comprise on the members of foreign affairs and human rights committees of the Senate, namely Mushahid Hussain Syed, Talha Mehmood, Saadia Abbasi and Allama Abbas Kumaili.

During their visit, the delegation members will meet with Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is still in US custody since last five years, and also visit Guantanamo Bay prison.

It may be noted here that the US authorities have reportedly allowed Pakistani parliamentarians to meet Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently detained in the US, but have not given the Pakistani parliamentarians permission to visit and assess the condition of Pakistanis detained in Guantanammo Bay prison.

Earlier, in August, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, along with members of Senate Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Committees, announced to meet Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in the US custody but his preoccupation in the last presidential elections disturbed his schedule regarding this mission.

When contacted, Senator Allama Abbas Kumaili told The Nation that the date to visit US in order to meet Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and other Pakistani prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay prison has still not be finalised but it would be possible that after Ramadan, a parliamentary delegation would visit the US. He added the said delegation would also visit the Guantanamo Bay prison to witness the treatment being meted out to the detainees.

“We will also meet Pakistani prisoners and ask the US authorities to close down the notorious prison,” he added. “US authorities have still declined to give the permission to visit the Guantanamo Bay prison but we will do our best to visit the detention facility,” he further said.

Kumaili said that “The Senate delegation will meet Dr Aafia Siddiqui and inquire about her ordeal in the prison and will try to get maximum relief for her in the US custody”.
Source: The Nation

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