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IHC seeks JIT report in missing couple case

Updated April 12, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday sought a report from a joint investigation team (JIT) in 10 days over the missing couple who were picked up from their house in G-10 in January.

The court expressed dissatisfaction with the defence ministry as it has not taken action when a senior officer working in a sensitive department and his wife were abducted in front of their minor children.

The court was hearing a petition regarding the disappearance of 38-year-old Nozair Hassan, a general manager in a sensitive installation of the National Development Complex and his wife, Omaima.

An NDC employee and his wife were abducted in the middle of the night, leaving their minor children unattended

According to the petition, some unknown persons, allegedly from a spy agency, abducted Nozair and his wife from their home in G-10, leaving their two children, Hibban, 7 and Safwan, 2, on their own.

The children are now looked after by their grandfather, Khubaib Hassan, who filed the petition through his counsel Inamul Rahim.

IHC had admitted the petition for regular hearing on April 4. When Justice Minallah resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, an official of the defence ministry and the station house officer (SHO) of Ramna police also appeared before the court.

The police official told the judge that the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances has referred the matter to the JIT, which includes representatives of the Inter Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and other agencies.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Rahim expressed dissatisfaction over the proceedings of the said commission. He said it has been three months and the whereabouts of the missing couple are not known yet. He said that as per the laws of the defence ministry, detention of any employee of the ministry is required to be reported to the competent authority within 24 hours.

Justice Minallah then sought a report from the said JIT in 10 days. The judge remarked that the children are facing serious trauma as their parents were dragged away in front of them.

Further hearing of the petition has been adjourned till April 30.

The petition cited SHO Ramna, inspector general of police Islamabad, Ministry of Defence through its secretary, Inter Services Intelligence through its director general and secretary interior as its respondents.

The petitioner informed the court that on the night between Jan 12 and 13 this year, at around 2am, a consignment of fully masked armed men dressed in black uniforms and accompanied by a few men in plain clothes, barged into the couple’s residence and conducted a thorough search.

“After causing unexplainable harassment, chaos and confusion the armed men, surely believed to be men belonging to agencies, took along both the detenues 1 and 2 while leaving behind their two kids screaming, and crying for their parents,” the petitioner has said.

The officers were not accompanied by a woman official and Omaima was abducted by male security personnel, he has added.

He said that after hectic efforts, an FIR was lodged with the Ramna police on Jan 17 and that the police have not been able to locate or track down the location of the couple and that no such information has been shared with the family so far.

The petition requests the court to direct the respondents to produce his son and daughter-in-law safe and sound before the court.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2018