Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

The case of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui


Five years after she vanished from her parents’ home in Karachi along with her three children, Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia  Siddiqui appeared in a New York court last week accused of trying to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan

Accounts of her arrest and the shooting incident differ. 


Siddiqui, 36, was arrested outside the governor’s office in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province on July 17 after police searched her handbag and found documents on making explosives, excerpts from the book “Anarchist’s Arsenal” and descriptions of New York City landmarks, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The next day when U.S. soldiers and FBI agents went to question  the U.S.-trained neuroscientist, she attacked them, the Justice Department said in a statement. She fired two shots using the rifle of one of the U.S.. army officers but nobody was hit. The officer then fired back at her, using his service pistol and at least one shot hit her, the Justice Department said.

Afghan police in Ghazni however, told a different story, according to a report filed by Reuters. Afghan police said officers searched Siddiqui after reports of her suspicious behaviour and found maps of Ghazni, including one of the governor’s house, and arrested her along with a teenage boy.