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US gives Pakistan consular access to Dr Aafia

NEW YORK: The United States has allowed Pakistan consular access to Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, who is being held without bail in New York after a federal court on Tuesday charged her with attempting to kill FBI agents and other US personnel last month while in Afghan custody, according to sources.

Faqir Saeed, a counsellor at the Pakistan Embassay in Washington, is arriving here later today to meet Ms Siddiqui, who was transferred to New York from Afghanistan on Monday.

The exact time for the meeting will be set after consultations with the US authorities, the sources said.

Ms Siddiqui, who has a bullet wound, is awaiting bail hearing on Monday afternoon. Her lawyer, Elizabeth Fink, denied the charges that Judge Ellis of United States District Court read out during her appearance on Tuesday.

The criminal complaint claimed that Ms. Siddiqui, who was behind a curtain at the police station, managed to grab a US soldier’s rifle and fire two errant shots as an interpreter tried to wrestle the weapon away from her.

The soldier returned the fire with a pistol and hit her at least once in the upper body, it said. Ms Fink also argued that alleging a “90-pound woman” could incite the violence claimed in the complaint was “patently absurd.”

“We don’t know what happened,” she said. “All I know is that I have a person who’s shot here.”
Source: The News

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