Missing SECP official back home after five days

Updated 09 Sep 2020

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ISLAMABAD: Family members of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s Joint Director Sajid Gondal
protesting outside the prime minister’s secretariat, over his disappearance on Tuesday. — Tanveer Shahzad /White Star
ISLAMABAD: Family members of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s Joint Director Sajid Gondal protesting outside the prime minister’s secretariat, over his disappearance on Tuesday. — Tanveer Shahzad /White Star

ISLAMABAD: Senior official of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Sajid Gondal, who had gone missing from the federal capital last week, reached home on Tuesday night hours after Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of his disappearance during a meeting of the federal cabinet.

“I am back and safe, and I am thankful to all friends who were worried for me,” Mr Gondal himself tweeted on his official social media account on Twitter at around 2218 hours from an unknown place before reaching home.

Mr Gondal, an additional joint director of the SECP, reached his sister’s home at Ghouri Town more than an hour after his tweet and during this time, besides his family members and friends, even senior police officers kept on waiting for him at his residence in Shahzad Town, Islamabad.

PM forms committee to propose steps to prevent such incidents in future

Police sources told Dawn that the “abductors” had set free Mr Gondal at a place between the famous Giga Shopping Mall and Rawat, some 30 kilometres from his Shahzad Town residence.

The sources said the investigating officer would record Mr Gondal’s statement on Wednesday morning (today).

Earlier in the day, taking notice of Mr Gondal’s disappearance during the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the Islamabad chief commissioner and inspector general of police (IGP) to ensure his early recovery. He also formed a committee to look into such incidences and present recommendations to prevent these in future.

The committee, headed by federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem, comprises Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Shahzad Akbar, Chief Commissioner Amir Ali Ahmed and IGP Aamir Zulfiqar Khan.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed serious concern over Sajid Gondal’s abduction and asked the IG for his recovery,” Information Minister Shibli Faraz had said at a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

Mr Gondal had gone missing on Sept 3 and his car was found from Park Road near the National Agriculture Research Council office the next morning.

His wife had lodged a complaint with the Shahzad Town police station, expressing suspicion that her husband had been “kidnapped by unidentified persons”. She had urged the police to ensure his return, adding that the family had no enmity with anyone.

The Shahzad Town police had registered a case under Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Gondal’s wife.

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

Justice Minallah had made the remarks during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by Gondal’s mother seeking his recovery.

Earlier, the SECP had in a statement also expressed concern over the disappearance of the additional joint director, saying that the incident was creating unrest and unease among the staff of the corporate sector regulator.

The SECP statement had said: “We strongly condemn the abduction and would emphasise and urge the relevant authorities to immediately intervene and ensure his [Gondal’s] prompt recovery and to ensure that appropriate punitive measures are taken against the perpetrators in accordance with the law.”

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2020