The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday took up a petition seeking directives for the government to ensure a meeting between Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Pakistani-American neuroscientist languishing in a US prison, and her family.

Siddiqui, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, was sentenced to 86 years imprisonment by a US court for allegedly shooting at US army and FBI officers while in custody in Afghanistan.

Fouzia Siddiqui, the inmate’s sister, filed the petition in the high court, demanding that the government take measures to ensure a meeting between Dr Aafia and her family in the US prison.

At the outset of the hearing today, a division bench of the SHC directed the petitioner’s lawyer to forward arguments about the admissibility of the petition. The counsel sought time to prepare his arguments.

The court approved his plea and adjourned the case for a week.

Last year in August, the Foreign Office of Pakistan had said Dr Aafia Siddiqui was assaulted by a fellow inmate in a United States (US) prison. “We learnt of an assault on Dr Afia Siddiqui by a fellow inmate at FMC Carswell on 30 July 2021,” the FO spokesperson said.

“Our Embassy in Washington DC as well as our Consulate General in Houston immediately took up the matter with the concerned US authorities. Our Consul General in Houston visited Dr Siddiqui immediately to ascertain her well-being. She had received some minor injuries but was doing fine,” the statement read.