ISLAMABAD: What the father-in-law of detained Tasif Ali told the Supreme Court on Friday about a meeting with him sounded more of a harrowing tale than a joyous reunion.
“I regretted meeting my son-in-law and felt as if I would suffer brain haemorrhage. He seems crippled,” remarked Dr Mohammad Aslam with tears in his eyes while talking to reporters after attending the hearing.
“I could not sleep the whole night.”
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk had taken up an application of Abida Malik, wife of Tasif, seeking his early recovery.
He disappeared on Nov 23, 2012, but the Supreme Court was informed on March 14 that he had been apprehended on March 5 and was kept in the Lakki Marwat internment centre under the Action (in Aid of Civil Powers) Regulations 2011.
The meeting between Tasif alias Danish and his family members was arranged on Thursday in the internment centre, on the court’s orders.
Tasif was allegedly picked up by Maj Ali Ahsan. His last phone conversation was with Maj Ahsan who was then a captain posted at the MI-918, Mangla Cantonment.
The matter was reported to the Sadiqabad police station on Dec 5, 2012, and was heard by the Lahore High Court on March 19 last year, but the case was dismissed.
In her application, Abida Malik alleged that harsh words had been exchanged between her husband and the caller, believed to be Maj Ahsan, during a conversation at about 4pm on Nov 22, 2012. The next day her husband went to offer Juma prayers and had since been missing.
Tasif Ali had started a furniture business before his disappearance.
“Though in a clean shalwar-kameez, stiff-looking Tasif was not moving his body at all, not even his hands, except eyes in response to our waving during the meeting,” Dr Aslam informed the court.
He said the environment in which the meeting took place was so frightening that his daughter (Abida) collapsed at one stage. “The room was dark and divided with a thick steel fence separating us. Two security personnel with guns pointing at both of us shouted whenever a question was asked. Tasif could only inquire about the wellbeing of his children and sister during the 25-minute meeting.”
Dr Aslam requested the court to order a medical treatment of his son-in-law at a Peshawar hospital. The same request was made by retired Col Inam-ur-Rahiem, who was representing Abida Malik.
The court summoned a medical report on the condition of Tasif on March 27 and ordered that another meeting of the family members be arranged on March 26 at the Kohat internment centre, instead of Lakki Marwat. Complete privacy be ensured during the meeting.
However, Additional Attorney General Atiq Shah opposed the idea citing security reasons. He argued that the law should be followed.
At this the court told him that it was not seeking his suggestions but giving directives which must be adhered to positively.
“You were denying custody of Tasif when he was arrested in 2012. He surfaced suddenly in your custody. You were not aware of any law then,” Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, a member of the bench, said.
“What kind of fraud are you committing with the people? For the last two years the court kept on asking about his whereabouts and you kept on refusing. What the people will think of you, that our intelligence agencies are always speaking lies, and that they do not enjoy any rights. What kind of country is this?”
Justice Chaudhry said if someone was involved in crime, he or she should be booked under the law and then given the opportunity to defend himself or herself.