ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: Two people, till now on the list of ‘missing persons’ and about whom the authorities had been giving vague statements, were released on Tuesday on a Supreme Court order.
Besides ordering immediate release of Hafiz Abdul Basit and Aleem Nasir, the court directed that Imran Munir, earlier convicted of spying, should be admitted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for two weeks.
Attorney-General Malik Mohammad Qayyum, who had promised on Monday to inform the court about the whereabouts of Hafiz Basit, told a five-member bench of the court that his exact location was still not known but he had found through a facsimile that a man named Abu Musa Khalid alias Basit was with some political agent in Khyber Agency. He said the person could be produced in the court on Wednesday, or could even be released later in the day (Tuesday).
Justice Raja Fayyaz observed that it appeared to be the same man.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Faqir Mohammad Khokhar, Justice M. Javed Buttar, Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed was hearing petitions of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and 48 other complaints for the recovery of the missing people.
On the instructions of the court, Hafiz Basit was to be handed over to his maternal uncle Hafiz Mohammad Nasir in the office of Federal Investigations Agency’s director-general Tariq Pervez on Tuesday night. The Supreme Court registrar is required to be informed about the release.
The Faisalabad police had arrested Hafiz Basit in January 2004 and handed him over to Major Amir of the Military Intelligence after recording his statement.
Aleem Nasir, a German national of Pakistani origin, had been picked up on July 18, 2007, from the Lahore airport for possessing 25kg of gemstones. He was produced in the court, although till Monday the authorities were saying that they were not aware of his whereabouts.
Aleem Nasir was greeted by his mother Nazir Begum and elder brother when he entered the courtroom to inform that he had been ‘kidnapped’ by the Inter Services Intelligence for carrying expensive stones. “I was blindfolded, harassed and transported to Islamabad through a chartered Fokker flight,” he said, adding that he had been kept in custody in Islamabad.
The AG told the court that the authorities were bringing his German passport and travel documents to end his misery and were even willing to send him to Germany and not to arrest him again. The man, the AG claimed, was engaged in some sensitive activities which he could not divulge in the court.
The chief justice asked the AG why and under which authority were intelligence agencies picking up people, and ordered that the belongings of Aleem Nasir, including gemstones, and air tickets be returned to him.
Aleem Nasir, who told the court that during his captivity he had seen different inmates being beaten up everyday, will be free to stay in Pakistan or go abroad.
The court took serious notice of Imran Munir’s statement that he had been brought from the Mangla cantonment to Rawalpindi at 11 O’clock on Monday and had been kept at the Field Investigations Unit, instead of the Adiyala jail as the court had ordered.
On Monday, the court had waited for Mr Munir to be produced till 5.30pm, after being told that the man was on his way from Mangla.
Mr Munir informed the court that his blindfold was removed when he reached the Supreme Court and he was given in police custody for production in the court.
He said he did not want to go back and that he feared for life because the last three nights in Mangla were a nightmare for him as he had been kept in chains.
The court ordered Islamabad Inspector General of Police Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmed to personally take the custody of Mr Munir and admit him to Pims for two weeks to be produced in the court later. If the case is not fixed within 15 days, Mr Munir will be shifted to the Adiyala jail.
The IGP was also instructed not to hand over the man to any intelligence agency and allow him to meet his family members and counsel.
National Crisis Management Cell’s director-general Brig Javed Iqbal Cheema was told to pinpoint those who had given false information about Mr Munir’s journey on Monday.