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Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has ordered the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to file on Thursday replies explaining reasons why the seven surviving Adiyala prisoners are still being kept in a bad condition.

The court issued the directives during the hearing on Wednesday of a miscellaneous application moved by Advocate Tariq Asad.

On Feb 13, intelligence agencies had produced before the court seven of the 11 prisoners in a very bad shape in compliance with an earlier order.

Four of them have died in custody in mysterious circumstances.

The prisoners mysteriously went missing from outside Rawalpindi’s Adilyala jail on May 29, 2010, the day they were acquitted of involvement in the Oct 2009 attacks on the GHQ and ISI’s Hamza Camp in Rawalpindi.

The seven prisoners were sent to Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital for treatment on the court’s order. Five of them recovered and were shifted to an internment centre in Landi Kotal.

Advocate Tariq, who had visited the prisoners at the internment centre on April 6 along with their family members, later filed the application highlighting the miserable condition of the suspects.

“The five prisoners are being kept in an unhygienic 7x7 room with stinking beds on the floor. The room has no ventilation and no light. Food supplied to them is substandard and the prisoners are not allowed to walk, causing swelling of their legs,” the application said.

It said Dr Niaz, one of the prisoners, was still ill but had been shifted to the interment centre against doctors’ advice. He is suffering from tuberculosis and hydronephorosis (kidney swelling) and not getting any treatment.

Similarly, the application said, the heath condition of other two detainees, Abdul Majid and Mazharul Haq, admitted to the Lady Reading Hospital was also not good. Abdul Majid has been suffering from hepatitis-C and cancer, but he is not being treated on the apprehensions that cancer may aggravate.

Mazharul Haq’s fever is not receding and there is an apprehension that he may also be suffering from cancer.

Advocate Tariq sought a court order for the authorities to provide spacious hygienic rooms with reasonable beds to the detainees, allow them to walk for at least an hour within the premises under guard and ensure their proper treatment as prescribed by medical consultants of the medical board constituted earlier.

He also requested the court to refer Abdul Majid and Mazharul Haq to Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore for proper treatment.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who heads the three-judge bench, observed that even enemies were given proper treatment under the 1949 Geneva Convention.

When the chief justice asked who was responsible for the plight of the prisoners, Advocate Raja Muhammad Irshad, representing the ISI and MI, said role of the agencies was over and now the authorities of the internment centre were responsible for everything.

The chief justice put off the hearing till Thursday and asked the ISI, MI, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq and Advocate General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Asadullah Chamkani to submit proper replies to the application of Advocate Tariq.