KARACHI, Jan 15: A division bench of the Sindh High Court comprising Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Faisal Arab on Thursday gave the federal and provincial governments a last opportunity to submit their comments on a petition challenging Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s arrest, detention and transfer of her custody to the US authorities and seeking her repatriation to Pakistan.
Petitioner Intikhab Alam Suri of the Human Rights Network said Dr Siddiqui is a Pakistani citizen and could not have been sent abroad. If there was any charge against her, she should have been tried within the country.
However, she was surreptitiously picked up by unknown ‘agency’ personnel from Karachi and then made over to the US authorities, who first detained her in Afghanistan and when her illegal detention became public, transferred her to the United States for trial on trumped-up charges. She had already undergone physical and mental torture and was unlikely to recover unless she rejoined her family in Karachi.
As the petition came up for hearing, the law officers appearing for the provincial and federal government again sought adjournment for filing comments. The bench gave them two weeks more but warned that if they failed to come up with their rejoinders within the stipulated period, the court would have to presume that the averments made in the petition were true and proceed to pass an order accordingly.