Missing SECP official Sajid Gondal returns home after 5 days, is 'safe'

Updated 09 Sep 2020

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Sajid Gondal had gone missing on Thursday night and his car was found from Park Road in the capital the next morning. — Photo courtesy: Twitter
Sajid Gondal had gone missing on Thursday night and his car was found from Park Road in the capital the next morning. — Photo courtesy: Twitter

Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Joint Director Sajid Gondal, who went missing from Islamabad last week, returned home on Tuesday night, family and police sources told Dawn.

Gondal himself also took to Twitter to announce his return, saying: "I am back and safe, and I am thankful to all friends who were worried for me."

Police sources involved in the investigation of his disappearance said the abductors had set him free. A family friend of Gondal also confirmed the news of his release.

He was released near Rawat, a suburb of the federal capital. Upon being freed, he contacted his family members through a phone call and informed them that he was arriving home shortly, the sources added.

The investigation officer of the case will record Gondal's statement on Wednesday (tomorrow).

Gondal had gone missing on Thursday night and his car was found from Park Road in the capital the next morning.

His wife had submitted a complaint of the incident at the Shahzad Town police station, expressing suspicion that her husband had been "kidnapped by unidentified persons". She urged the police to ensure his return, adding that the family "did not have any enmity".

The Shahzad Town police had registered a case over the official's disappearance under Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint lodged by his wife.

The FIR stated that Gondal left his house on Thursday at around 7:30pm in his official car but did not return. Later his car was found parked at Chak Shahzad Town road near the National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) but he was missing from there, the FIR stated, adding that his mobile phone was found switched off since then.

The issue of Gondal's disappearance was taken up by the federal cabinet earlier today, with Prime Minister Imran Khan expressing "serious concern" over such an incident having taken place in the capital.

While addressing a post-cabinet meeting press conference, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said the premier had directed the Islamabad inspector general of police and interior ministry to ensure Gondal's recovery through coordination with "concerned stakeholders".

On Monday, Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had expressed serious concern over the rising number of enforced disappearances in the federal capital and directed the interior secretary to take up the issue with the prime minister in order to devise a policy for protection of the fundamental rights of citizens.

Justice Minallah's remarks had come while hearing a habeas corpus petition seeking Gondal's recovery filed by his mother.