As Dr Aafia Siddiqui goes on trial in a federal court in New York City her case is unknown to most Americans yet in her native Pakistan the frail neuroscientist, mother of three and reputed al Qa’eda associate has become a cause célèbre.
Last week Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that he had been in direct communication with Pakistan’s mission in the United States for the provision of all possible assistance and cooperation for her release, News International reported. He said that the government had also engaged lawyers to defend her in the court.
At a pre-trial hearing last week the defence team rejected the charge of shooting at FBI agents since there were no fingerprints or other forensic evidence that she even picked up the gun, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported. “We’re not saying she did it in self-defence. We’re not saying it was an accident. We’re saying she simply did not do it,’ defence attorney Linda Moreno told US District Judge Richard Berman.
In The Guardian, Decan Walsh told the story whose plausibility will be weighed in the Manhattan courtroom. [continued…]