PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday issued separate notices to the defence and interior ministries asking them to explain position on the enforced disappearance of an Indian national from Kohat district in 2012.

During the hearing into a petition against the disappearance, a bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Nisar Hussain Khan expressed surprise as to how an Indian national had entered Pakistan from Afghanistan without valid documents and reached Kohat but the intelligence agencies remained ignorant about it.

In the petition, Fauzia Ansari, mother of missing man Nehal Hamid Ansari, said her son had gone to Afghanistan in Nov 2012 in search of a job in the aviation industry but afterwards, he entered Pakistan to help a woman in distress in Kohat.

She claimed that her son was the president of the Rotary Club, New Delhi and had got in contact with the girl by Facebook, a social networking site.


Wonders how agencies didn’t learn about foreigner reaching Kohat from Afghanistan without visa


The bench fixed Sept 8 for next hearing with the direction that the defence and interior ministries inform the court regarding the whereabouts of the missing man.

The case of Nehal Ansari, a 28-year-old MBA degree holder, has received attention both in Indian and Pakistani media. Before going to Afghanistan, he was a teacher at the Mumbai Management College.

The petitioner said she believed that her son had stayed at a hotel in Kohat before he went missing.

She said her son was also reportedly in contact with some Pakistani friends, who had advised him to cross into Pakistan without visa.

The petitioner had earlier sent an application to the human rights cell of the Supreme Court, which had forwarded the case to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances in March 2014.

On April 10, 2014, the commission had directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home department to constitute a joint investigation team to trace Hamid Nehal Ansari.

On the directives of the commission, an FIR was registered at the city police station in Karak district under Section 365 of Pakistan Penal Code.

There followed a JIT meeting, where a government official insisted Hamid Nehal Ansari had entered Pakistan without visa, so the case did not lie in the category of enforced disappearance.

However, the representative of Ansari said if the Indian citizen had crossed border illegally, then he should be punished in accordance with the law of the land.

Also, the bench directed the Khyber Agency political agent to know if the body of missing person Roohullah Khan allegedly killed in custody in Nov 2013 was recovered from a settled area or tribal region.

The then SHO of Hayatabad police station in Peshawar, Yasin Khan, told the bench that police didn’t register the case of missing person’s death as his body was found in a tribal area.

According to police, Roohullah was a would-be suicide bomber, who was arrested on May 24, 2013 along with mother, three brothers and another person in Tarnab Farm area.

However, an anti-terrorism court acquitted all suspects in Aug 2013.

While the five suspects were freed, police detained Roohullah in another case about the bombing of a political party’s election office before the May 11 general elections.

However, he secured bail from the court.

When he came out of prison on Sept 6, 2013, he was allegedly taken away by unidentified persons in presence of family members.

While the case regarding his alleged illegal detention was pending and the court had summoned the provincial police officer, his body carrying marks of torture and firearm was recovered on Nov 21, 2013.

In another missing person case, the bench ordered the inclusion of the names of three army officers in the list of respondents and directed them all, including the defence and interior ministries, to produce comprehensive replies in the case.

Petitioner Noor Mohammad alleged Colonel Zafran, Major Hassan and Subedar Naeem had taken away his son, Umar Gul, on May 21, 2013.

During the hearing into around 25 missing person cases, the bench observed that the respondents, including the defence and interior ministries, should submit comprehensive comments instead of brief and stereotyped replies wherein it was only mentioned that the detainees in question were not in their custody.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2014

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