IHC summons top officials over ‘missing’ PTI candidate

Published January 11, 2024
Barrister Abdullah Mumtaz Kahloon. — X/AMKahloon
Barrister Abdullah Mumtaz Kahloon. — X/AMKahloon

ISLAMABAD: Islam­abad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq on Wednesday summoned the joint secretaries of the ministries of defence and interior in connection with the ‘disappearance’ of a PTI candidate.

Justice Farooq had directed the government agencies on Tuesday to produce Barrister Abdullah Mumtaz Kahloon, who had reportedly “disappeared” from Islamabad airport.

Mr Kahloon had filed his nomination papers to contest the election from PP-76 Sargodha and was considered one of the potential PTI candidates.

He was nominated as an accused in an FIR and sought protective bail from the IHC chief justice.

His counsel argued that Mr Kahloon intended to surrender before the competent forum, and the court issued a stay order against his possible arrest.

However, upon landing at the airport, he was allegedly picked up by unknown persons. Justice Farooq instructed the authorities to trace the “abductors” with the help of CCTV footage.

Later on Tuesday night, a video of Mr Kahloon emerged on social media in which he stated that he was with a friend. He also denounced the May 9 violence and disassociated himself from the PTI.

In the video message, he apologised for not appearing before the court due to being unwell.

When the hearing in this matter resumed on Wednesday, AAG Munawar Iqbal Duggal told the court that the CCTV footage of the airport revealed Mr Kahloon went with three-four persons on his own and did not resist. Justice Farooq inquired whether the persons were masked or identifiable.

Mr Duggal replied that they were not wearing masks. Upon the court’s query, he stated that the footage could be referred to the investigation agencies to trace these people. The court summoned the senior authorities of the defence and interior ministries and adjourned the hearing till Jan 15.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2024

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