Fouzia Siddiui, the sister of Pakistani neuroscientist imprisoned in the United States (US) Dr Aafia Siddiqui, has claimed that the Pakistani government turned down an offer by US to release her sister in exchange for Raymond Davis, a CIA operative who gunned down two men in Lahore in 2011.

While talking to a private news channel on Thursday, she said that the US also offered freedom of Dr Aafia for Brigadier Bowe Bergdahl, a former US army officer who spent years in Afghan Taliban captivity until his release in 2014.

“Aafia’s return could have been made possible several times over the course of time. There Raymond Davis and these aren’t just claims; I have clear-cut evidence that the states offered Aafia for his exchange. But for the Pakistani government, other things became higher priorities,” she said.

“The US also offered the freedom of my sister in exchange for the American brigadier, Bowe Bergdahl. But our government prioritized other things over the freedom of a Pakistani citizen, who is wrongly imprisoned,” she said.

The sister of Dr Aafia also said that Pakistan also missed the opportunity of seeking a presidential pardon for her sister from former US President Barack Obama. “Obama was pardoning several prisoners at the time, but Pakistan again did not act on time,” she said.

The Foreign Office (FO) has earlier said that talks have been held with the US on Dr Aafia's issue but it is premature to say anything about her release. “We have talked to the US with reference to Dr Aafia Siddiqui. But no decision has been taken so far about her release. Afia Siddiqui issue is an emotional matter which cannot be addressed secretly.”