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Govt asked to help locate Pakistani in Dubai

Updated July 18, 2014

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File photo
File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the federal government on Tuesday to take up the case of a missing Pakistani with the Dubai authorities.

The court issued the directives while hearing a petition filed by Qurban Raja, a retired income tax deputy commissioner, the father of Omar Mateen, who went missing in UAE on March 2. Mateen was an accountant by profession and was working with a private firm.

The petitioner said Mateen went to a bank for encashment of two official cheques, worth 1.5 million dirham, and did not return. He was also accompanied by a driver and a security guard.

According to Barrister Afzal Hussain, the counsel for the petitioner, the driver initially stated that after dropping Mateen in front of the bank, his car met with an unfortunate accident, after which the car caught fire. He then left the car and went to the hospital for burns treatment.

However, the driver’s most recent statement to the petitioner says that Mateen came out of the bank and gave him 100,000 dirham and went away, the counsel added.

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The petitioner maintained that his son’s passport was handed over to the Dubai police by his daughter-in-law, who was residing in Dubai with his son. The petitioner has been to Dubai twice since March and has also written a letter to the foreign affairs secretary, seeking support for the recovery of his son.

On June 16, the court heard the arguments of Barrister Hussain and directed the foreign secretary and consul general of Pakistan in Dubai to file a report and para-wise comments within 10 days.

A standing counsel, representing foreign ministry, informed the court on Thursday that the ministry had sent three letters dated April 8, April 14 and May 5 to the UAE foreign ministry, but they have not yet received a reply.

Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi, however, observed that the state was bound to protect the life and liberty of its citizens; and directed the federal government and consul general of Pakistan in Dubai to officially take up this matter with the Dubai authorities.

The court also directed the consul general to appoint a focal person to take up this matter with the Dubai officials and to facilitate the father of the missing man.

Further proceedings were adjourned till a date to be fixed by the registrar’s office.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2014