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Plea for release of suspected militant disposed of

June 11, 2013

ISLAMABAD, June 10: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday directed the military authorities to conclude within three months the trial of a suspected militant held at an internment centre in Lakki Marwat.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, while disposing of the petition of Rashida Amir, wife of Amir Ahmed, also directed her to approach the commissioner of Bannu for the treatment of her ailing husband.

In her petition filed with the court on May 28, 2011, Ms Rashida had said her husband was picked up by security agencies from Rahim Yar Khan on February 20, 2011. She requested the court to order the recovery of her husband.

The ministry of defence, in its reply to the petition in April this year, maintained that Amir was arrested from the Khajoori checkpost of North Waziristan on January 13, 2012, for his involvement in carrying out attacks on a convoy of armed forces.

The respondent told the court that they recovered a suicide vest, a Kalashnikov, 20 rounds of bullets and 20 hand grenades from his possession at the time of his arrest.

On the directive of the IHC, the suspect was produced before the court on May 15. The accused told the court that he was arrested from Rahimyar Khan and kept there for a few days.

Later, he was shifted to Bahawalpur, then Lahore and onward to Peshawar. From Peshawar, he was shifted to the internment centre at Lakki Marwat.

The court then allowed his relatives to meet him at the internment centre.

The meeting was arranged by the military authorities about a week after the court directive.

Wajihullah Advocated, the counsel for the petitioner, on Monday told the court that he also met Amir at the internment centre along with his brothers.

”The medical condition of his client was poor and he told me that there were around 550 other people at the internment centre,” the counsel told the court.

Fazle Qadir, a section officer of the Fata secretariat, was present at the time of the hearing.

The counsel argued before the court that his client had been kept under illegal confinement without a trial.

However, deputy attorney general Tariq Mehmood Jehangiri told the court that the secretary defence himself had stated before the court that Amir was kept under legal custody.

“This is by no mean an illegal act as these internment centres were established under the law,” he contended. Mr Jehangiri also said the court lacked jurisdiction in the case.