The following article appeared in Dawn Newspaper on 13 February 2010 and was written by Dr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi------
THE jury of the Manhattan court found Dr Afia Siddiqui guilty of charges of attempted murder and convicted her. Now on the next date of hearing, the judge after listening to the lawyers shall sentence her.
The conviction prevents the executive branch of the US government from intervening. Therefore no matter how much effort the Pakistani government puts in on a diplomatic level, the conviction cannot be reversed through political or diplomatic means. This is the system of the separation of powers under the US constitution.
So the question is what should be done to bring Dr Afia to Pakistan given that notwithstanding the merits of the case it has become an emotional issue for the people of Pakistan and political parties, putting further pressure on the government to ‘force’ America to return Dr Afia.
Under these circumstances there are three legal options available to the Pakistani government.
Firstly the government can provide or further strengthen the legal team so that they can file an appeal against the conviction and also the forthcoming sentence.
In the appeal the lawyers need to question the inadequacy of ...
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