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Signing of treaty for transfer of prisoners urged

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Dr Aafia Siddiqui.—File Photo
Dr Aafia Siddiqui.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government has suggested that the incoming government should sign the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, a European multilateral treaty, to enable it to seek repatriation of Pakistani citizens imprisoned in countries which have already ratified the agreement.

After signing the treaty, the government can ask Washington for repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui imprisoned in the US after being convicted of assaulting in Afghanistan officials interrogating her for her suspected links to Al Qaeda.

The US is a signatory to the treaty.

Caretaker Law Minister Ahmar Bilal Sufi said the law ministry had issued the advice to this effect and added that signing of the treaty would enable the country to get back its citizens like Dr Aafia who had been convicted and were serving sentences, mainly in Western countries.

The minister said the government had two options to seek repatriation of Dr Aafia: either to join the Inter-American Convention, a bilateral treaty, or the European treaty.

The law ministry preferred the European treaty because it was more suitable, he added.

The Sindh High Court has recently directed the government to decide about signing one of the agreements.