“Dr Afia Siddiqui gets pregnant, contracts cancer in US jail”

Karachi: Pakistani scientist Dr Afia 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 Dr Fouzia Siddiqui said she had come to know through Pakistani Consul General in Houston that Dr Afia Siddiqui 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 Hussain Haqqani was called back the next day when he told us the condition of Dr Afia.

She quoted Pakistan Consul General Aqil Nadeem as saying that he was requesting the jail authorities for providing medical facilities to the Pakistani scientist.

Dr 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 Dr Afia Siddiqui.

Dr 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 Dr Afia’s alleged pregnancy, she said that her family was told about it after the Pakistani scientist showed some symptoms in the women jail.

Dr Fouzia appealed to the US and Pakistani authorities to arrange a telephonic conversation of her mother with Dr Afia.

Earlier, British journalist and human rights activist Yvonne Ridley had declared the long punishment of Dr Afia as just ‘one step away from death’. 

Talking about attitude of Pakistani politicians being adopted on the Dr Afia issue, she said that she would not believe in their statements until and unless her sister returns to Pakistan. Dr Fouzia complained that the politicians had only exploited the Dr Afia issue just to gain political mileage.

She said that the Pakistani scientist had been provided substandard food, which led to health problems at the jail as she had complained of it during her earlier telephonic conversations.

 According to Pakistani TV anchor Aamir Liaquat Hussain, he had received information from his friends in the US that Dr Afia had contracted cancer and will be killed during confinement.

The renowned anchor said that the Pakistani scientist can be brought back through diplomatic efforts.

In a video uploaded on Youtube, Hussain said that Dr Afia had become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse in jail.

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.

Shahid Abbasi is an Editor of TheNewsTribe.com from its foundation in 2010. With more than 10 years’ experience in conventional Journalism he is one of the pioneers of digital/online/new media in Pakistan.

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