Dr Aafia Siddiqui case: IHC restrains foreign ministry from making public documents filed by Dr Fouzia Siddiqui


ISLAMABAD(Basharat Raja) Islamabad High Court (IHC) has restrained foreign ministry and other authorities from making public the documents filed by Fouzia Siddiqui in Dr Aafia Siddiqui case.
Dr Fouzia Siddiqui is sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

The petition in connection with the health and release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui came up for hearing before a single bench of IHC led by Justice Sardar Ijaz Ishaq Khan here Friday.Dr Fouzia Siddiqui told the court that Mr Smith, counsel for Dr Aafia Siddiqui in US will reach Pakistan from May 5 to 8.

The court directed ministry of foreign affairs to assist Mr Smith counsel for Dr Aafia Siddiqui in US.Dr Fouzia Siddiqui along with her new counsel Imran Shafiq and foreign ministry authorities, Additional Attorney General (AAG) and others appeared in the court.

Dr Fouzia Siddiqui told the court “ I had applied for visa in 2016.AAG told the court passport had expired and new passport was made. Diplomatic norms come on way for making contact with ICRC.The counsel for foreign ministry told the court diplomatic norms speak for state to stay neutral in such matters.

The court remarked this is not the matter of violation of human rights. Her family members want to bring her back due to health condition. They are making request on compassionate ground. How the opposition of one state to other state has come here.Assistant Director ministry of foreign affairs told the court if one letter goes from state then it is against the policy of ICRC.

The court remarked court had given order one and half month before. Foreign ministry has done what so far.AAG told the court it was our endeavor visa should be got for her so that she could go to meet her sister. We are close to obtaining visa.The court remarked foreign ministry has not more capacity than this. What you want from foreign ministry.

The counsel for petitioner told the court we have filed an application and have given some documents.The court remarked you have committed misconduct by filing the papers of US lawyer this way as they were confidential. Has your counsel allowed you to submit them in the court.

Dr Fouzia Siddiqui told the court this declaration was received on March 13. We gave copy of it to foreign ministry on March 12. My counsel e-mailed that I can submit it to court.

The court remarked give the copy of e-mail to court. Was permission accorded to give copy to foreign ministry.Fouzia Siddiqui told the court yes permission was given.

The court remarked it seems from declaration that their counsel is working more than your entire ministry.Foreign ministry filed report in the court.The court inquired from Dr Fouzia Siddiqui what you want now.Fouzia Siddiqui told the court her lawyer is coming from US and foreign ministry should provide facilities to him.

The court directed the foreign ministry to provide full assistance to Fouzia Siddiqui and her US counsel and serve as informal role of bridge between Fouzia Siddiqui ICRC. We are making the documents filed by Fouzia Siddiqui as part of the file. But the documents are confidential. It was better these should have been given to court sealed .
Fouzia Siddiqui and her lawyer should be included in all meetings.The court directed foreign ministry to trace and obtain the record related to Aafia Siddiqui from 2003 to 2008. We are saying for acquiring record so assistance could be provided to Mr Smith.

Fouzia Siddiqui told the court that one date of the case be fixed after all the meetings of Mr Smith so that he could inform the court about all the progress.The court remarked Mr Smith US counsel for Fouzia Siddiqui can come to court if he wants.The court adjourned the hearing of the case till May 08.