WASHINGTON – The US State Department on Thursday categorically denied any high-profile prisoner swap talks with Pakistan. “The United States government is not in discussions with the government of Pakistan on a prisoner exchange or transfer involving Dr Aafia Siddiqui,” State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a daily press briefing. She said this while replying to a question that there were reports that US government had offered Pakistan to sign a prisoner swap agreement for extradition of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is facing life sentence here in US.
“The government of Pakistan requested her transfer to Pakistan in 2010 and we are not aware of a recent request from Pakistan to discuss her case,” she said.
Aafia Siddiqui was indicted in New York federal district court in September 2008 on charges of attempted murder and assault stemming from an incident in an interview with US authorities in Ghazni in Afghanistan, charges which she denied. After 18 months in detention, she was tried and convicted in early 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison. To another question regarding reports that Secretary of State John Kerry was likely to visit Pakistan on July 28 and 29 of this month, Harf said, “I don’t have any travel to announce at this point.” “We’ve said repeatedly that the secretary looks forward to traveling to Pakistan when he can spend some time there discussing a wide range of issues, but I have no travel to announce at this point,” Harf said. –
source: Pakistan Today