Pak court seeks whereabouts of Dr Aafia's missing son within 14-days
A Pakistan court has granted the Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministries two weeks to inform it about the whereabouts of the missing son of neuroscientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui and how he was granted an American citizenship.
The bench at Sindh High Court, headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam, was hearing a petition seeking the direction of the government to provide legal assistance to Dr Siddiqui, who stood trial in US on charges of shooting at FBI agents and soldiers at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, her repatriation and the recovery of her children, reports The Express Tribune.
Muhammad Iqbal Aqeel, the lawyer representing the petitioner, submitted that Dr Sidiqui, along with her children Ahmed, aged 11, Salman, aged 6, and daughter Mariam, aged 8, was kidnapped in a surreptitious operation by law enforcement agencies in Karachi.
"After the hue and cry made in the media, Dr Aafia was detected in Afghanistan and on international pressure, she was tried for an offence she had never committed," Aqeel said.
He said that initially her children were also not traceable and on persistent follow-ups, Mariam was found outside the family house and Ahmed was handed over to his grandmother.
"Whereas one son, Salman, is untraceable and his whereabouts are still not ascertained," he added.
The judges observed that the court raised two queries as to how Salman was extended American citizenship, which had not yet been answered by the foreign affairs ministry, and what his whereabouts were.
"It is very unfortunate that in terms of Article 4 of the Constitution, it is an inalienable right of every citizen of Pakistan to enjoy protection of the law and to be tried in accordance with the law wherever he may be," CJ Alam said.
"Such protection clearly extends beyond the territorial limits of Pakistan and the embassies of Pakistan situated in Afghanistan and America are obliged to ensure such protection to the citizens of Pakistan," he added.