ISLAMABAD: The Islam­abad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday asked the ministry of foreign affairs to submit every fortnight progress report on their efforts for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted by a US court in 2010 on charges of shooting at US army and FBI officers.

When Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan resumed hearing on the petition of her sister Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, legal adviser to the ministry Asad Burki apprised the court that the government may restart diplomatic efforts for her release from the US prison.

He said the Attorney General for Pakistan may also write a letter to his US counterpart on this particular issue.

Dr Fowzia told the court that their family had filed an application to the US authorities seeking remission for her, as the United States announces for other inmates from time to time.

The court asked the ministries of foreign affairs and the interior to expedite efforts for her release and adjourned further hearing for a fortnight.

Dr Aafia was sentenced to 86 years imprisonment in the case.

Dr Fowzia had filed a petition in October 2015 seeking directives for the government to increase its efforts for her sister’s release and for arranging meetings with family members.

Her lawyers had requested a sentence of 12 years, while prosecutors had pressed for a life sentence.

In 2009, a jury found had found her guilty on seven counts, including two counts of attempted murder.

The jury found there wasn’t premeditation in the attempted murder charges.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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