Seeks prime minister’s help for her release, warns Khan of ‘hypocrites’ around him
Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, who is serving her 86-year sentence at a federal prison in the United States (US), has conveyed a special message to Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking the support of the premier against her “illegal imprisonment”.
“I want to get out of prison. My imprisonment in the US is illegal as I was kidnapped and taken to the US,” she stated in the message that has been conveyed to the prime minister via Consul General of Pakistan at Houston, who visited Aafia at Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell in Texas last month.
“Imran Khan had supported me in the past as well. I have always considered him as one of my biggest heroes and wish to see him as the Khalifa of all Muslims,” Aafia’s message stated further and added that he [Imran Khan] should be careful of the “munafiq” [hypocrites] around him.
All those who criticise Imran Khan for his past mistakes should stop doing that because under Islamic law he is innocent, Aafia said. “Even the Sahaba [Companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)] had made mistakes in their lives and when they embraced Islam, their past mistakes were forgiven.”
“It is the same with Imran Khan. He had once stated himself that he came to learn about Islam much later in life,” she stated.
The message has been conveyed to PM Khan through a letter of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On June 7, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan summoned a report from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington on Dr Aafia, after a three-member bench – led by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar – heard a petition filed by the imprisoned scientist’s sister, Dr Fouzia.
Dr Aafia Siddiqui was indicted by a New York federal district court in September 2008 on charges of attempted murder and assault, stemming from an incident during an interview with the US authorities in Ghazni, Afghanistan — charges that she denied.
After 18 months in detention, she was tried and convicted in early 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison.
Aafia’s sympathisers claim that she was arrested in Pakistan and handed over to intelligence agencies who then transferred her into US custody. Both the US and Pakistani officials, however, say that she was arrested in Afghanistan.
Aafia, an MIT graduate, allegedly went missing for five years before she was discovered in Afghanistan. It is said that she snatched a gun during interrogation in Ghazni and tried to shoot a US soldier.
She has also been accused of working for Al Qaeda.