Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui meets her sister after 20 years

Islamabad, 1 June 2023, (GNP): Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist jailed in the US for more than a decade, finally met her sister Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui after 20 years at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Texas.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan helped arranging the meeting. He reported on Wednesday an emotional reunion between Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her sister after almost 20 years apart.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has been detained in a high-security prison in the United States on terrorism-related allegations.

After being detained in 2003, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui attracted attention on a global scale. She was eventually found guilty by a US court of attempting to assassinate US military members in Afghanistan and was given an 86-year jail sentence. Additionally, the US believed she had ties to Al-Qaeda.

The meeting between the Pakistani neuroscientist and her sister, Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, was strictly monitored and constrained.

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Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan claimed on Twitter that the meeting took place after 20 years and lasted for two and a half hours.

“This meeting took place after 20 years and continued for two and a half hours, Dr. Fauzia wasn’t allowed to hug, shake hands with her sister. Dr Fauzia was not allowed to show Dr Aafia the pictures of her children. The meeting took place inside a jail room with a thick glass between them. Aafia was in a white scarf and khaki jail dress” Khan wrote.

For years, Fowzia Siddiqui has waged a persistent battle to secure her sister’s release. Her efforts also attracted international attention after various human rights organizations and individuals spoke out in favor of her cause.

The senator from Pakistan further said that Aafia Siddiqui described the struggles she went through in prison. He stated that she had lost weight while being held captive and had experienced hearing loss due to a head injury.

“I miss my family every day; I constantly think about my mother, my father, you [my sister], and my children,” Aafia said.

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Although he said that this has opened up a way for more “discussions and meetings”, he urged people to raise their voice for Aafia

Senator Khan also pressured the Pakistani leaders to raise the subject of Aafia’s release with the American government.

The JI senator tweeted that he will also see Aafia Siddiqui in jail on Thursday, along with Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui and Clive Stafford-Smith, a British lawyer who focuses on civil rights problems and has previously assisted Guantanamo captives.

He claims that visits over the following two days will concentrate more on her case and potential solutions to get her released.