Foreign Office spoke person, Dr Muhammad Faisal, on Thursday (Nov 8) during his weekly press briefing in Islamabad, said that “We have spoken to the US about Dr Afia Siddiqui’s issue. However, no decision has been taken regarding her release as yet.”
“Since a decision has not been taken regarding her release, we cannot say when she will be freed,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, FO said in a statement that “Government of Pakistan has been raising the issue of Dr Afia Siddiqui with US authorities regularly. Pakistan’s CG (consul general) in Houston pays Consular visits to Dr Afia, periodically, to inquire about her well-being and conveys her messages to Dr Afia’s family if any.”
“The issue of respecting the human and legal rights of Dr Afia Siddiqui was also raised in the meeting at MoFA with Ambassador Alice Wells on November 6,” it confirmed. “The US side has promised to look into our request.”
The Pakistani neuroscientist and mother of three has been in prison since 2010 on charges of attempted murder and assault on a US military personnel. She was awarded sentence for to 86 years in prison at the Federal Medical Centre, Carswell, Fort Worth in Texas. Siddiqui was born in Pakistan. In 1990, she went to study in the United States and obtained a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University in 2001.
During his briefing, the FO spokesperson also spoke about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to China and said, “The premier visited the country on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart.” “The trip further strengthened the bilateral relations between the two countries,” he added.
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20 February, 2019