Monday Nov 23 2020
Web Desk

PM Imran Khan’s aide pins hope on Joe Biden for release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui

Web Desk
Dr Aafia Siddiqui

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan on Monday hoped that US president-elect Joe Biden would make Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s return possible.

Babar Awan said this in a meeting with Dr Aafia’s sister Fauzia Siddiqui.

Dr Aafia, a Pakistani neuroscientist jailed in the United States, was indicted by a New York federal district court in September 2008 on charges of attempted murder and assault, stemming from an incident during an interview with the US authorities in Ghazni, Afghanistan — charges that she denied.

After 18 months in detention, she was tried and convicted in early 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison. She has since been imprisoned in the US.

Read more: Dr Aafia Siddiqui signs clemency petition

Awan updated Dr Aafia’s sister on the progress made so far in the case.

He said addressing the problems of Pakistanis abroad is one of the PTI government’s top priorities. 

“The government is working for the return of Pakistanis imprisoned in different countries,” Awan said. 

He said 5,000 Pakistani prisoners had been brought back home so far through the personal efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He called the imprisonment of Dr Aafia a big human rights violation.

He said the foreign ministry will take up the release of Dr Aafia in the Senate.

Read more: Dr Aafia Siddiqui's mother writes open letter to PM Imran Khan

Last month, Awan had informed the Senate that Dr Aafia had signed a clemency petition.

The News reported that Awan, who was speaking on behalf of the foreign minister during the question-hour, said Dr Aafia's petition was being sent to US President Donald Trump through the jail department.