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JIT divided over status of two missing men

Updated August 13, 2013
The Supreme Court of Pakistan. — File photo
The Supreme Court of Pakistan. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team (JIT) set up for recovery of missing people is divided over the enforced disappearance after the Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) refused to entertain two missing people in the category of enforced disappearance.

During the hearing of missing people’s case, Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar submitted a progress report before a two-member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justice Ejaz Chaudhry and Justice Gulzar Ahmed.

According to the report prepared by Khanewal District Police Officer Mohammad Ayaz Saleem about two missing people — Abdul Rehman of Karachi and Ghulam Sajjad Ahmed of Kabirwala — all members of JIT, except ISI and MI, are of the view that it is a case of enforced disappearance. But members of the ISI and MI presented dissenting notes saying it was not a case of enforced disappearance.

The ISI and MI, in their identical notes of dissent, said that after carrying out a detailed ground check and examining circumstantial evidence, cross-questioning witnesses and the petitioner, the ISI was of the view that it was not a case of enforced disappearance.

Other members of the JIT, including local police and officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), differ with the ISI and MI, arguing the case falls in the category of enforced disappearance.

According to the report, Ahmed went missing in April 2011 from Khanewal. The FIR for his disappearance was registered with Sarai Sidhu Khanewal police station on May 5 last year.

The FIR registered against Rehman alleged that after a bomb blast in April 2011, Rehman was taken into custody by unknown people.

His whereabouts remained unknown until Mohammad Hanif recorded a statement before the Khanewal DPO this month and informed him that he had met Ghulam Sajjad Ahmed in 2009 when he was detained by the army.

Hanif, however, was unsure about his place of detention as he said he had been kept moving from one place to another blindfolded.

Abdul Rehman, the other missing person, was picked up by the unknown men in 2011 after his brother was booked by Faisalabad police the same year under the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 and Explosives Act.

The court bench termed the progress report for the recovery of missing people unsatisfactory and directed police authorities to file a comprehensive report in a fortnight.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till the submission of another report.