LAHORE: Dr Aafia’s case can be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under ‘Pakistan Friendship and Commerce Treaty’ signed between the US and Pakistan which allows citizens of both the countries to approach the ICJ without any state approval.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) observed this while disposing of petition seeking repatriation of Dr Afia from the US and commencement of litigation for the purpose in the ICJ. The Foreign Ministry was also directed to examine litigation in the ICJ and initiate that within thirty days if the court verdict favored it.
The court held that the then Islamabad High Court in its verdict in a petition for Dr Afia had directed the Foreign Ministry to find ways and means, especially diplomatic channels, for repatriation of Dr Afia and recovery of the minors, and, if they failed, examine filing of reference to the United Nations (UN) which had not taken any decision after the lapse of a long period.
The court also observed that the allegations of paying huge amounts to a panel of three American lawyers, Elaine Sharpe, Linda Morano and Charles Swift, who were hired to represent Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s case in a federal court of the US, for receiving kick-backs was based on assumptions and no proceedings could be initiated merely on such grounds unless some proofs were provided in support of the allegations, which for the time being were lacking and the petitioner might approach afresh, if he succeeded in providing any cogent evidence to supplement the said allegations.