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Wife also missing for a week, LHC told

May 07, 2005


LAHORE, May 6: Advocate M.D. Tahir deposed in the Lahore High Court on Friday that Sonia Naz of Faisalabad, who moved court for the recovery of her husband, had gone missing for about a week. Justice Rustam Ali Malik, who had directed the Faisalabad police to produce Sonia Naz’s husband Asim Yousaf on Friday, adjourned for two weeks the hearing of the petition. He kept intact his earlier orders that the petitioner’s husband be produced.

The counsel submitted that Ms Naz had been missing since May 1 when she last visited his office in connection with the petition. He informed the court that a relative of Ms Naz called him by telephone on May 2 that she had not returned home. He quoted her relative as saying that she had gone to a newspaper office for an interview and then went missing.

Advocate Tahir submitted that she might have been arrested by police for pursuing her husband’s case in court. He also quoted her relative as expressing fear that she might have been or would be killed by the police.

Meanwhile, the Faisalabad police placed before court the record of the investigation made so far and requested it not to make it public because it was ‘confidential’.

The police, however, informed the court that an SP had called the parties to the dispute on Saturday (today) to further probe the case.

SP Khalid Abdullah, SHO Jamshed Ali and two sub-inspectors, who represented the Sargodha Road police, Faisalabad, submitted that the alleged disappearance of Ms Naz seemed to be a conspiracy against the police.

SP Khalid stated that neither Ms Naz nor her husband was in the police custody. He submitted that the petitioner might charge the police with gang-rape tomorrow and he was bringing his fear on court record. The police, too, wanted justice from court as it was the only door open to them as well, he said.

The court had instructed the police last week to produce Asim who, the petitioner alleged, had been missing since Oct 14 and was in police custody.

The court is proceeding on a contempt petition, moved by Sonia Naz, through which she contended that the Faisalabad police had failed to produce her husband despite an earlier court order. The court is also seized of another writ petition moved by Ms Naz’s father-in-law, who alleged that the police might have killed his son. The Faisalabad police have time and again contended that Asim was not in their custody, but the petitioners themselves were hiding him.

Asim Yousaf, a clerk in the Faisalabad excise department, is alleged to have been involved in appropriation of public money, and disappeared in fear.

The petitioners had claimed earlier that they located Asim and produced him to police voluntarily. The police, they alleged, extorted money from the family to save Asim but he went missing on Oct 14 last year.

Ms Naz was also responsible for creating a security scare by illegally entering the National Assembly and was, later, arrested. She told the Islamabad police that she wanted to present to the prime minister an application for her husband’s release, but inadvertently reached the assembly.