Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court yesterday sought a report from the government within seven days about the health conditions of Dr Aafia Siddiui.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi conducted the hearing of the petition moved by Aafia’s sister Dr Fouzia Siddiqui and issued an interim decision directing the federal government to apprise the court within seven days time regarding the health of Dr Aafia Siddqui.

Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, is serving an 86-year prison sentence in the United States for alleged attack on the US soldiers in Afghanistan. The bench also directed the government to brief the court about the efforts it has undertaken for the release of Dr Aafia from the US prison.

Justice Qureshi issued the interim order while hearing a petition seeking directions for the federal government to put efforts for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

Dr Fouzia Siddiqui, sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui had filed this petition last year in October primarily seeking directions for the government to increase its efforts for the release of her sister, secondly for arranging meetings between Aafia and her family members and thirdly that the ministry of foreign affairs should keep updating family of the detained lady in USA about her physical and mental health.

The counsel for Dr Fouzia Siddiqui had informed the court that the family of Dr Aafia has not heard anything about her for the last two years. She has been given physical and mental torture in the jail.

At this, the IHC judge while addressing to a deputy attorney general (DAG) had said, “A person came from America and took Raymond Davis along. What has our government done for the release of Aafia Siddiqui? Do we consider ourselves slaves of the USA?”

Dr Fouzia Siddiqui through her petition had reminded the incumbent Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his promise that he made on November 9, 2008 while writing a letter to the former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, urging him to highlight the issue to Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s detention at international forums.

In the petition, Dr Fauzia’s counsel adopted that at the time when Nawaz Sharif was not the prime minister, he had written a letter to the then Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, asking him to take steps for the release of Aafia.

Now, the petitioner requested that the court may direct the Premier to raise the issue of Aafia’s release with President Obama and Obama’s permission should be sought for grant of access to Aafia’s council.

Advocate Sajid added that permission for Aafia’s family to meet the imprisoned doctor should also be sought.

Aafia Siddiqui studied at Boston’s prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and did PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis University. In early 2003, during the Afghanistan war she came back to Pakistan. In March 2003, she was reportedly named as a courier and financier for al Qaeda by Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and was placed on a “wanted for questioning” list by the American FBI.

According to the US court papers, she was carrying two kilograms sodium cyanide hidden in moisturiser bottles, along with plans for chemical weapons and New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building.

The Afghans handed her to US forces who began questioning her. During her interrogation she grabbed a rifle and opened fire, according to witnesses, at the US agents while screaming “Death to America” and “I want to kill Americans.”

From Afghanistan, Siddiqui was put on trial in the US and sentenced in 2010 for 86 years for attempted murder — and not for any al Qaeda links.

Earlier, in 2008, Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafri had also filed petition in the IHC for the extradition of Aafia. The IHC at that time disposed of the petition with the direction to the government to provide legal assistance to Aafia.