Islamabad High Court on Friday asked the Foreign Office to assist Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s sister in a case of her possible return to the country.
During the hearing, the government apprised the court about the steps being taken for Siddiqui’s release.
It said that officials had met with the US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, adding that her case had also been raised at the diplomatic level.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office had lodged a formal complaint with US authorities in August, 2021 after it came to light that the imprisoned Pakistani was attacked by a fellow inmate at Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.
Siddiqui is a US citizen serving an 86-year sentence on charges of shooting at military and FBI personnel while she was in US custody in Afghanistan.
An FO spokesperson had said that Pakistani authorities learned of the assault on Siddiqui on the 30th of July.
The assault on her, reportedly by a fellow inmate, was first brought to light by CAGE, an independent organisation that campaigns against discriminatory state policies and advocates for due process and the rule of law.
According to a CAGE statement, “Shocked by the violent assault and in excruciating pain, Dr Siddiqui curled into a fetal position to protect herself. She was unable to get up after the assault and had to be taken out of the cell in a wheelchair.”
Moreover, Siddiqui was quoted as saying, “The fact that I’m not blind is a miracle from Allah.”
Her lawyer Marwa Elbially, who has been allowed to visit her since January 2021, said, “During my last visit with Dr Siddiqui I was shocked to see visible burns around her eyes, an approximately 3 inch scar near her left eye, a wound on her right cheek covered in toothpaste and a small piece of paper, and bruises on her right arm and legs. Moreover, she was in an orange jumpsuit as she had been placed in the administrative unit. It is important that we receive reassurance that Dr Siddiqui is not punished for being a victim of a vicious assault and is safe from future attacks.”
Pakistani diplomatic authorities had taken up the matter with the United States government – both on the level of the consulate in Houston, Texas, and the embassy in Washington DC.