YORK, Oct 9 (APP): Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is under U.S. detention on charges of
attempted murder, does not have faith in the American judicial
system and insists that the case against her is false and baseless,
according to the head of a Pakistani parliamentary delegation which met her in
Texas on Tuesday.
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a press conference in
New York on Wednesday evening that Dr. Siddiqui, a U.S.-educated Pakistani
neuroscientist, wanted the case against her dropped and she wished to be
returned to Pakistan.
Siddiqui, 36, who was shot in the abdomen by U.S. agent after she
allegedly grabbed an American soldier’s gun during questioning in July, was
brought to New York on August 4 to face charges of attempted murder and assault.
who met her for 2 hours 45 minutes at at Carswell Medical Centre in a military
prison compound at Fort Worth near Dallas, Texas, said Ms. Siddiqui told them
she had no faith in the U.S. courts hearing her case.
presently held at the centre for psychiatric evaluation to determine if she was
fit to stand trial.
four-member Pakistani delegation included Senators Mushahid Hussain, SM Zafar,
Muhammad Talha Mahmood and Saadia Khaqqan Abbasi. They were accompanied by
Iftikhar Babar, secretary of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Faqir
Asif Hussain, a counsellor at the Pakistan embassy in Washington.
described as a “good gesture” the US government’s move to allow the Pakistani
delegation to meet Dr. Siddiqui.
Aafia without the presence of any US official, and she was also permitted to sit
next to them, instead of being separated by a partition, as is normally the
calm and composed, but she suffers from memory losses,” Mushahid said, adding
that she she has been “through living hell.”
Siddiqui also told the Pakistani delegation that she was tortured during her
she should be unconditionally released and repatriated to Pakistan,” he said,
adding that she has suffered enough. “This would be a good gesture by the United
States and would go a long way to improve relations between the people of
Pakistan and the United States. “This
has become a litmus test,” Mushahid added.
Answering a number of questions about who kidnapped her in Karachi in 2003 and
where she has spent the last five years, he said there were some “gray areas”
but they were told that she was held at the Bagram prison in Afghanistan.
judge entered a plea of innocent last month on behalf of Ms. Siddiqui who
prosecutors say may be unfit to face charges of trying to kill U.S.
interrogators in Afghanistan.
Siddiqui’s September 4 arraignment at Manhattan federal court was delayed after
she refused to submit to a strip search, a security procedure requiring inmates
to undress and squat in front of guards.
In a letter
to the judge, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia has said that there was reason to
believe Siddiqui, who has refused to cooperate with prison doctors, is suffering
from a mental disease and is unfit to stand trial.
Siddiqui’s lawyer, Elizabeth Fink had asked the judge that her client be placed
in a hospital for medical and psychological care and be treated as someone who
may have been the victim of torture.
rights groups had declared Ms. Siddiqui missing for five years before the
incident in July, when she was arrested outside the governor’s office in
Afghanistan’s Ghazni province.
officials say police found documents in her handbag on making explosives,
excerpts from the book “Anarchist’s Arsenal” and descriptions of New York City
landmarks. He lawyers say that those documents were planted.