KARACHI - Pakistani scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving 86-year imprisonment in a US prison cell, has contracted cancer and allegedly become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse during her confinement.
Talking to The News Tribe, her sister Dr Fouzia Siddiqui said she had come to know through Pakistani Consul General in Houston that Aafia had been diagnosed with a cancer. She added that earlier there were reports that the Pakistani scientist had become pregnant due to alleged sexual abuse during imprisonment. However, the Pakistan Embassy has not playing its role in either confirming or rejecting the reports.
She said that former Pakistan ambassador to US Husain Haqqani was called back the next day when he told us about the condition of Aafia.
She quoted Pakistan Consul General Aqil Nadeem as saying that he was requesting the jail authorities for providing medical facilities to the Pakistani scientist.
Fouzia said keeping in view the reputation of the Roswell jail and the nature of her sister’s disease the request was insufficient.
She urged the Pakistan Embassy to arrange a team of physicians comprising doctors from jail as well as from private sector for Aafia.
Fouzia said that newly-appointed Pakistan Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman had assured her all possible help before leaving for America to take up her new assignment. However, despite making contact with her, the envoy has not given any response in this regard.
Speaking about the reports of Aafia’s alleged pregnancy, she said that her family was told about it after the Pakistani scientist showed some symptoms in the women jail.
Fouzia appealed to the US and Pakistani authorities to arrange a telephonic conversation of her mother with Aafia.
Earlier, British journalist and human rights activist Yvonne Ridley had declared the long punishment of Aafia as just ‘one step away from death’.
Talking about attitude of Pakistani politicians being adopted on the Aafia issue, Fouzia said she would not believe in their statements until and unless her sister returns to Pakistan. She complained that the politicians had only exploited the Aafia issue just to gain political mileage.
She said that Aafia had been provided substandard food at jail, which led to health problems as she had complained of it during her earlier telephonic conversations.
The News Tribe, a UK-based bilingual news website has approached Pakistan Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman through an email to get her point of view on the issue but received no response till the filing of this news.