In a major development, Dr Aafia Siddiqui — a Pakistani neuroscientist jailed in the United States for over a decade — finally met her younger sister Dr Fauzia Siddiqui after 20 years, at the Fort Worth jail in Texas.
JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan shared the details of the meeting on Twitter, saying Dr Aafia Siddiqui has been granted the right to meet her family. The senator said that Aafia’s elder sister Dr. Fowzia has met Aafia and he is next to meet the “Daughter of Nation” on Thursday.
He also revealed that Clive Stafford-Smith — a prominent human rights activist who also helped liberate Abdul Rabbani and Ahmed Rabbani from the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison – will also accompany him to meet Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
Read more: Aafia Siddiqui and Pakistan’s common destiny
JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan narrated that the meeting between both the sisters lasted for two and a half hours. Dr Fauzia wasn’t allowed to hug or shake hands with her sister as the meeting took place inside a jail room with a thick glass between them.
For an hour and a half, Dr Aafia shared the details of the torture she was going through every day. Her front teeth were knocked out/lost due to an attack in prison. She also had difficulty hearing due to a head injury, the senator revealed.
کل ڈاکٹرعافیہ سےمیری ڈاکٹرفوزیہ اورکلائیو اسٹافورڈاسمتھ سمیت جیل میں ملاقات ہوگی۔
لیکن آج ڈاکٹرفوزیہ کی ملاقات کاافسوسناک احوال سن لیجیے۔اگر چہ صورتحال تشویشناک ہے لیکن ملاقاتوں کابات چیت کاراستہ کھل گیا۔اب ضرورت اس بات کی ہےکہ عوام آوازاٹھائیں اورحکمرانوں کومجبورکرےکہ وہ فوری…
— Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan | سینیٹر مشتاق احمد خان (@SenatorMushtaq) May 30, 2023
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was an MIT graduate, allegedly discovered in Afghanistan after being missing for five years. The US claims that an interrogation revealed that she stole a gun and attempted to shoot a US soldier in Afghanistan.
Heavy allegations of working for Al Qaeda were leveled against her, and in September 2010, a New York court sentenced Dr. Aafia to a prison sentence of 86 years.
She was the first woman to be suspected of Al-Qaeda links by the US, but never convicted of it. The US suspected she joined Al-Qaeda from America, returning to Pakistan where she married into the family of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed –- an architect of the 9/11 attacks.