ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has written a letter to the US attorney-general’s office, seeking repatriation of Pakistani neuroscientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
He said “Dr Aafia’s case has become a matter of public concern in Pakistan and her repatriation to Pakistan would create goodwill for the US.” He said there is also a human angle to this living episode, as her two children are living in a constant state of uncertainty, which is having a telling effect on their health. Secondly, the aging mother of Dr Aafia is suffering from depression.
The minister further said that Dr Afia could be deported to Pakistan under the UN Convention for Exchange/Repatriation of Prisoners on Humanitarian Grounds.
He said that he would appreciate if he (the US attorney-general) personally looked into the matter and used his office, for helping repatriation of Dr Aafia to Pakistan. Reportedly, there are over 90 precedents in the legal history of the US where cases against such individuals were dropped on humanitarian or political grounds under the UN Convention.
As directed by the prime minister, the interior minister has spoken to the mother of Dr Aafia and briefed her about the actions taken by the government for the repatriation of her daughter.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2010.