Senate body wants renewed efforts for Dr Aafia’s release

Sunday, November 22, 2009 Daily Times

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Saturday decided to formulate a resolution to press the US to release Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani scientist detained by Washington for allegedly attacking US officials.

The resolution would be submitted to the Ministry of Law and Justice for further consideration. The committee, which met with Senator Talha Mahmood in the chair, directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to negotiate with US authorities and allow Ms Farah, a family friend of Dr Aafia, to assist her in the case. The committee said it would visit Karachi to meet Dr Aafia’s relatives and others linked to the case. It was also decided that the government would focus on Dr Aafia’s release and investigate her reported abduction from Pakistan and subsequent detention in Afghanistan.

Committee members also directed officials of the Interior and Foreign ministries to take the necessary steps to ensure Dr Aafia’s release. Aafia’s sister, Dr Fouzia, informed the committee that she had tried to register an FIR a number of times during the last five years, but senior police officials had asked her not to pursue the case. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Senator Almas Parveen, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Senator Israrullah Khan, Senator Najma Hameed and senior officials of the ministries of Interior, Law and Justice, Foreign Affairs and law enforcement agencies attended the meeting. tahir niaz



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