Dawn News

ISLAMABAD, Sept 27: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday disposed of a habeas corpus petition after about five months and directed the petitioner to approach Lahore High Court as the case was registered with the Lahore police.

In the petition taken up by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, the wife of Naveed Butt, a spokesman for the banned Hizbut Tahrir, had sought recovery of her husband who is missing for the last about five months.

In the FIR registered with the Liaquatabad police of Lahore, Saadia Rahat alleged that the directors general of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, deputy directors ISI and MI (Lahore) were behind her husband’s kidnapping.

Advocate Umer Hayat Sandhu, the counsel for the petitioner, alleged that Mr Butt was detained by the officials of the spy agencies.

The petition said the missing man was on his way to pick up his children from a school on May 5 when intelligence officials allegedly kidnapped him. Mr Butt had been receiving threatening calls from unknown callers since long, the petition added.

During the hearing, additional advocate general Punjab Malik Faisal, representing the Punjab police, challenged the IHC jurisdiction and contended that being a court meant for the Islamabad capital territory, the IHC could not take up the matter in which the FIR was registered in Lahore.

He was of the view that in the past IHC had also incorrectly taken up identical petitions.

Advocate Sandhu told Dawn that he would examine the court order and then with the consultation of the petitioner would decide to file an appeal with the Supreme Court or submit the same petition to the LHC.

It may be mentioned that at least six HuT activists who were allegedly picked up by the ISI and MI during a crackdown on the banned outfit after the arrest of Brigadier Ali Khan in August 2011 were released after the IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman took up the petitions filed for their recovery.

The court had earlier sent the cases of the missing activists to the “inquiry commission on enforced disappearance” and a joint investigation team was also constituted for their recovery on the directives of the IHC.

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