ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday gave government four days for the recovery of missing poet Ahmed Farhad.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani accep­ted the request of Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan of four-day adjournment in order to enable the federal government to apply available resources for the recovery of Farhad.

The federal minister for law and justice a day earlier held a press conference after the judge made certain remarks against the executive, and directed the investigating officer to record the statement of an intelligence official.

When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, Justice Kayani inquired from the investigating officer about the progress. The officer replied that he went to the intelligence agency’s office, but the sector commander was not there. He quoted another officer as informing him that Farhad was not in their custody. But the investigating officer replied in the negative when the judge inquired if he recorded the statement of the spy agency official under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The judge asked him to act strictly in accordance with the Police Rules.

During the course of hearing, AGP Awan requested for grant of time and assured the court that the government would utilise all the resources for his recovery within the time frame set by the judge.

The judge reminded him that he had given an undertaking before the IHC and the Supreme Court that no one would go missing from Islamabad.

Petitioner’s counsel Imaan Mazari questioned the efficacy of the spy agencies if they could not trace the missing persons. The judge expressed hope that Farhad would be back within a week.

Further hearing in this case has been adjourned till Friday, May 24.

Baloch missing persons

Earlier, while hearing the case of Baloch missing persons, Justice Kayani remarked that the court only wanted judges, lawyers, journalists, parliamentarians and spy agencies to act in accordance with law.

Asked how many people were arrested, harassed or went missing during the past 10 years, AGP Awan replied that a report in this regard was being prepared.

Justice Kayani said, “It would be good if the working procedures of intelligence agencies was clarified.” He noted that according to the law, the police and FIA can conduct investigations, while intelligence agencies can assist with the investigation, added a Dawn.com report.

“No Pakistani, be it journalists or parliamentarians, is supporting terrorists,” Justice Kayani said. “No one prevents institutions from working according to the law.”

The AGP stated that until the issue is resolved politically, the matter will not be settled.

“So it is acknowledged then that this is a political issue. We don’t want to invite anyone from outside to solve the issue,” Justice Kayani remarked. “Mistakes happen, but one must learn from mistakes and move forward.”

The judge meted out praise for AGP Awan, noting that this was the twenty first hearing of the case and several missing students had been recovered thanks to the attorney general’s “hard work”.

“Due to his efforts, several missing persons have now reached home,” Justice Kayani noted.

Justice Kayani lightheartedly asked AGP Awan where to find people like him who find solutions to problems, to which the attorney general replied by saying that was a difficult question to answer.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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