ISLAMABAD: After two days of hectic negotiations between officials of the US Embassy in Islamabad and family members of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Afghan government finally handed over the son of the Pakistani neuroscientist allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda, and held in US custody. “We did receive some officials from the US Embassy’s legal section and they understood our point of view,” said Iqbal Haider, former law minister and one of the human rights activists lobbying for Siddiqui and her children’s release. “Our position remains that Dr. Aafia was innocent and was wrongly charge-sheeted.”
President Asif Ali Zardari reportedly asked Afghan President Hamid Karzai on his last visit to Islamabad to release Siddiqui’s children. According to Foreign Ministry sources, Pakistani and Afghan officials met yesterday in Kabul where the Afghan government handed over custody of Siddiqui’s son Muhammad Ahmed to Pakistani authorities. Siddiqui’s 11-year-old son was with his mother when she was detained while allegedly carrying designs for explosive devices and descriptions of US landmarks in her handbag.
Ahmed was handed over to his aunt, Fauzia Siddiqui, following his arrival in Islamabad. The whereabouts of her two other children, a son and a daughter, are still unknown.