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Senate Committee calls for early repatriation of Dr Afia

ISLAMABAD (January 30 2009): Senate Committee for Human Rights Thursday presented its report regarding Dr Afia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national detained in the US, and called upon the government to gear up the efforts for her early repatriation. Dr Afia, who is detained in US has appealed in her message to Pakistanis that Pakistani citizens should never be handed over to US, says the report.

The committee presented the report when some people gathered in front of Parliament House to demonstrate in support of missing persons. Rehman Malik, Interior Advisor said that some of the missing persons were being trained in camps against Pakistan. We have seen videos, in which they were being imparted military training to carry out attacks against Pakistan.

The committee presented the report after meeting Dr Afia during its visit to US last year in October. The report points out that Dr Siddiqui was put through unusual torture in US. Dr Siddiqui left US in March 2003. The following year, she was accused by US of being associated with al Qaeda. In August 2008, she was charged in US district court for the southern district of New York with assaulting and attempting to kill US personnel while in detention in Afghanistan.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Human Rights SM Zafar said he held a two-hour meeting with Dr Siddiqui in Texas. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that no charge has so far been proved against Dr Siddiqui. He said that issue of Dr Siddiqui is a glaring instance of human right violations and stressed the need to highlight the issue.

“We must try to trace the children of Dr Siddiqui and seek their repatriation to Pakistan, besides helping Dr Siddiqui in fighting her case in US”, he added. Leader of Opposition in Senate, Raza Rabbani said all the expenses of providing legal assistance to Dr Siddiqui would be borne by the government.

She told the delegation that she was picked up by law-enforcement agencies from Karachi and detained at Bagram Jail for three years. The delegation included Mushahid Hussain sayed, S.M Zafar, Talha Mehmood, Sadia Abbasi, Secretary of the committee Iftikharullah Babar and Pakistan counsellor of Pakistan embassy in Washington, Faqir Syed Asif Hussain.
Source: Business Recorder