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Pakistan Wants Jailed Scientist Repatriated

Pakistani protesters carry photographs of Aafia Siddiqui during a march to support her in Karachi on September 23.
Pakistani authorities said today they were "saddened and disappointed" by a U.S. court's decision to sentence a Pakistani scientist to 86 years in prison for the attempted murder of U.S. officers, and would work to bring her home.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani was quoted as saying that Aafia Siddiqui is "the daughter of the nation," vowing to campaign for her transfer to Pakistan.

Siddiqui, 38, an American-educated neuroscientist, was captured in Afghanistan in 2008.

Her case and the circumstances of her treatment have attracted considerable attention.

A U.S. court on September 23 found her guilty of seizing a weapon from a U.S. officer and trying to shoot at U.S. personnel who were seeking to interrogate her after her capture.

News of her sentencing sparked protests today in her home city of Karachi and at least two other cities.

The Pakistani government has come under pressure at home, particularly from Islamist and right-wing groups, for failing to somehow secure her release.

compiled from agency reports