FIA seeks access to Dr Aafia through FBI -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

FIA seeks access to Dr Aafia through FBI

By Mohammad Asghar

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sought access to Dr Aafia Siddiqui through the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dawn has learnt.

The Pakistani investigators have also called for inclusion of Dr Siddiqui’s ex-husband, Mohammad Amjad Khan, in their probe.

FIA Director General Tariq Khosa asked the government to provide the agency with access to Dr Siddiqui, a Pakistani national in the custody of US authorities on charges of assaulting and attempting to murder members of American forces during her detention in Afghanistan.

The purpose of getting access to Dr Siddiqui is to investigate her alleged links with any terror network.

A source said the government had also been asked to allow the FIA to include Mr Khan in the probe as the investigators needed to hold some sessions with him “to get vital information.”

The source said the FIA staff had also sought an interview with one of the Pakistani senators, who recently met Dr Siddiqui in the United States.

“A meeting with the senator would be useful for the FIA’s investigation,” he added.

Dr Siddiqui, who was born in Karachi on March 2, 1972, moved to Texas in 1990 after completing her initial education in Pakistan. She also got an award for her research proposal “Islamisation in Pakistan and its effects on women.” She graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1995. She completed her PhD in 2001.

She was going to the railway station from her home in Karachi in March 2003 when went missing along with her three children.

Since her disappearance, her mother and sister contacted the US courts and Pakistani authorities but they failed to find any clue to her.

The FIA in its investigation, based on interviews of Dr Siddiqui’s family member, statements of her sister – Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, and media reports, revealed that since her disappearance, Dr Siddiqui’s family suspected that she was handed over to the FBI by Pakistani intelligence agencies. But intelligence agencies of both countries denied these assumptions.

Dr Aafia was traced in July 2008 after a British journalist, Yvonne Ridley, claimed that a Pakistani woman — Aafia Saddiqui — had been detained in a Bagram prison in Afghanistan for years.

Mohammad Ahmed (13), a son of Dr Siddiqui, said in his statement that he was picked by the US officials along with her mother, brother and sister, who were separated from him.

The boy also claimed that the US officials handcuffed, chained and blindfolded him while shifting him from one place to another. Ahmed said during his entire captivity, he was sent to school for a month only.

Source: Dawn

Date:6/15/2009