The caretaker federal government told the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday that notorious 'encounter specialist' Abid Boxer has been in the custody of Pakistani authorities since February this year.
Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Boxer ─ a former police officer wanted in over a dozen cases of murder, attempted murder, land-grabbing and others in Punjab ─ had been arrested in February in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in connection with a fraud case and brought back to Pakistan with the help of Interpol.
In March, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Punjab Police, however, denied these reports, and told the court Boxer had yet to be extradited to Pakistan.
Take a look: Nargis alleges torture by ex-policeman
The director FIA had reiterated the Interior Ministry's claim in the LHC during hearing of a petition filed by Boxer's father-in-law seeking protection for his son-in-law, that no agency had brought Boxer back to Pakistan.
Today, Deputy Attorney General Syed Zafar Abbas Gilani told the court that the former police officer had been shifted to Pakistan from Dubai in February.
Justice Anwarul Haq, who is hearing the case, directed the relevant authorities to produce Boxer before the court on July 27.
The court also summoned the director FIA in the next hearing of the case.
Boxer's father-in-law claims that a number of fabricated cases had been registered against his son-in-law on the basis of political victimisation and has sought protection for Boxer. He is afraid that his son-in-law will be killed in a fake encounter.
Who is Abid Boxer
Abid Hussain had joined the police department in 1988 as an assistant sub-inspector. He was later promoted to the rank of inspector. He fled Pakistan in 2008 after the police lodged cases against him under murder, attempted murder, fraud and forgery charges.
The murder case that forced Hussain to flee Pakistan was lodged against him at Qila Gujjar Singh police station after the death of a retired army brigadier, Naseem Ashraf. Ashraf’s wife had lodged the case accusing the former inspector of killing her husband. She alleged that Hussain wanted to grab a cinema owned by the retired brigadier in 2008.
The complainant later died under mysterious circumstances and it was suspected that she too was killed at the behest of Boxer.
In February, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan alleged that the former inspector had confessed to killing people on the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
"Police never kill people until and unless a chief minister orders or grants permission to kill people," he had quoted Abid as saying. "Abid Boxer fled to Dubai as Shahbaz Sharif wanted to kill him because he could expose the chief minister," Khan alleged.