PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench was informed on Wednesday that an Indian national, who went missing from Kohat over three years ago, was in the custody of the Pakistan Army and faced court martial.
Deputy attorney general Mussaratullah Khan told Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Qaisar Rashid Khan that the defence ministry had informed him that the missing man, Hamid Nehal Ansari, was in the army’s custody and was being court-martialled.
He however didn’t specify the charge against the detainee.
The bench later disposed of the habeas corpus petition filed by the detainee’s mother, Fauzia Ansari, observing that the petition had become infructuous as it was filed to know about the whereabouts of the Indian citizen and the defence ministry had disclosed he was in the custody of the Pakistan Army.
DAG Mussaratullah Khan produced the defence ministry’s reply to the petition.
PHC disposes of habeas corpus petition filed by detainee’s mother
“The agencies working under the administrative control of this ministry i.e. ISI and MI, GHQ were asked to provide the requisite information. In response, the Military Intelligence Directorate, GHQ, intimated that Hamid Nehal Ansari is in the military’s custody and is being tried by court martial,” said a deputy director (legal) of the ministry in the reply.
Qazi Mohammad Anwar, lawyer for the petitioner, said the missing Indian citizen was taken into custody by the police and Intelligence Bureau (IB) in Kohat in Nov 2012 and that his whereabouts had not been known since then.
During a previous hearing, the then SHO of Kohat Development Authority police station, Faizullah Khan, had submitted a statement to the court insisting ‘a suspect’ was arrested by the rider squad after information was provided by Intelligence Bureau inspector Naeem Khan on Nov 14, 2012.
He had added that the said suspect was interrogated by inspector Ibrahimullah Khan and his luggage was brought from Palwasha Hotel, where that suspect was staying.
He had claimed that a fake identity card by the name of Hamza was also recovered from that person. He had alleged that the suspect was later on taken away by the personnel of ISI and MI.
Mr Ansari, a 28-year-old MBA degree holder, was a teacher at the Mumbai Management College.
The petitioner claimed her son was in contact with some Pakistani friends, who suggested he cross into Pakistan from Afghanistan without visa.
She said her son was an educated person and had gone to Afghanistan in search of job.
The petitioner said her son became friends with a Pakistani girl through social media and that he entered Pakistan to see her.
She had earlier sent an application in this respect to the human rights cell of the Supreme Court, which had forwarded the case to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances in Mar 2014.
On April 10, 2014, the commission had directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home department to form a joint investigation team for tracing the whereabouts of Mr Ansari.
The commission had also ordered the provincial police officer to register an FIR of the Indian national’s disappearance.
Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2016