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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday directed the Interior Ministry to contact United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities to ascertain if former police inspector and notorious 'encounter specialist' Abid Hussain, alias Abid Boxer, had taken a flight back to Pakistan earlier this year or not.

According to local media reports, Boxer ─ who is wanted in over a dozen cases of murder, attempted murder, land-grabbing etc in Punjab, and had been arrested in February in the UAE in connection with a fraud case ─ had been brought back to Pakistan with the help of Interpol.

However, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Punjab police earlier reported to the court that no agency had brought him back during hearing of a petition filed by Boxer's father-in-law, who expressed his apprehension that police would kill his son-in-law in a fake encounter.

Boxer's father-in-law also claimed that a number of fabricated cases had been registered against his son-in-law on the basis of political victimisation and sought protection for Boxer.

Representatives of the FIA and Punjab police appeared in court today before Justice Anwarul Haq.

The judge directed the Interior Ministry to get in touch with UAE authorities to find out whether the former police officer had returned to Pakistan via air, and to submit a report on the matter by May 28, the next hearing of the case.