Accessibility links

Pakistan Seeks Return of Scientist Held in US


Pakistan's parliament has demanded the immediate repatriation of a Pakistani woman held in the United States on charges of trying to kill U.S. federal agents in Afghanistan.

Aafia Siddiqui, a U.S.-educated scientist, was detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan last month. U.S. authorities extradited Siddiqui to New York this month to face charges of attempted murder and assault.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Thursday introduced the resolution in parliament, calling upon the Pakistani government to take up the matter with U.S. authorities. The resolution was adopted unanimously by the lower house.

Pakistani officials also are asking the United States to provide Siddiqui with urgent medical attention. The 36-year-old woman was shot and wounded by an officer during questioning by U.S. officials.

Prosecutors allege Siddiqui grabbed a U.S. soldier's rifle in Afghanistan and fired at U.S. agents preparing to question her about suspected ties to al-Qaida.

Siddiqui was arraigned in a New York court August 5, but did not enter a plea. A judge postponed Siddiqui's bail hearing to September after lawyers said her health had worsened since her extradition to the U.S.

Siddiqui disappeared with her three children in 2003 on a family visit in Karachi. U.S. authorities later accused her of helping al-Qaida operatives sent to the U.S. by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG