LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a petition seeking recovery of Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi, the nephew of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, and permission to visit him in the military’s custody.

Advocate Abuzar Salman Khan Niazi appeared on behalf of petitioner Hafeezullah Niazi, the father of the arrested lawyer, stating before the court that 45 days had passed to the ‘abduction’ of the petitioner’s son.

He said at least 104 people were in the custody of the military for May 9 cases.

The counsel claimed that all the arrested persons except Barrister Niazi had been allowed to meet their families in the army custody. He pointed out that the LHC Rawalpindi bench in a similar matter allowed a woman to visit her husband in the army custody.

Justice Sultan Tanvir Ahmad asked Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ghulam Sarwar Nahang whether a meeting had been arranged between the petitioner and his son.

The law officer said there were media reports that the petitioner had taken the matter to the Supreme Court, therefore, did not seek instructions from the authorities concerned. He said the high court could no more hear the matter if the petitioner approached the apex court.

The petitioner stated that he did not know the technicalities involved in the case.

“All I know is that my son is still on physical remand and I want to see him,” Mr Niazi added.

He said his son should also be recovered like anchorperson Imran Riaz had been recovered on the direction of the LHC.

“Get my son recovered as well and I will say he had gone to northern areas on a picnic,” the petitioner laid an offer before the court.

After hearing the arguments, Justice Ahmad reserved the verdict on the petition.

During last month’s hearing, AAG Nahang told the court that visiting a suspect in the military’s custody was not allowed under any law.

Barrister Niazi has been handed over to the military for trial over his alleged involvement in the attack on the corps commander’s house on May 9.

The army had requested the police to hand over Barrister Niazi’s custody, who was declared a proclaimed offender, under Section 549(3) of CrPC.

A government’s report said the absconding lawyer had been found involved in offences under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, read with sections 2(1) (d) and 59(4) of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.

These offences are bound to be tried by the court-martial.

The report said Mr Niazi was from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and his custody was delivered to military authorities on Aug 17.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the lawyer had been unlawfully handed over to the military as he was supposed to be produced before the anti-terrorism court first.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2023

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