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Death of prisoner: LHC issues notices to federation, SHO

August 03, 2012


RAWALPINDI, Aug 3: Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Friday issued notices to the federation and the SHO of Saddar Bairooni police station on a petition seeking registration of criminal case against directors general Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and former DG ISI Ahmed Shuja Pasha over the mysterious death of a prisoner.

LHC Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed directed them to file detailed reply till August 16 and adjourned the hearing.

The petitioner, Mufti Abdul Shakoor, elder brother of Abdul Saboor, the prisoner who died on January 21, 2012, cited the DG ISI, MI, former DG ISI, superintendent Adiala jail Saeedullah Gondal and deputy superintendent Khalid Bashir as respondents.

His counsel, Lt-Col (retired) Inamur Rahim, told the court that Saboor, 29, was the fourth civilian detained in the GHQ and ISI Hamza Camp attack case to have died under mysterious circumstances since August 2011.

According to him earlier three detained prisoners had died in custody of military authorities and their bodies were recovered from Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

They were Mohammad Aamir who died on August 15, Tahseenullah, December 17; and Said Arab on December 18, 2011.

According to the petition, Abdul Saboor was picked up by intelligence agencies from Lahore on November 25, 2007, along with his younger brothers Abdul Basit and Abdul Majid.

In the petition, Advocate Rahim pointed out that the bodies of three detainees, who had died earlier during investigation, showed clear signs of acute renal failure (ARF) apparently caused by slow poisoning.

He said military authorities had kept them in illegal confinement and contended that under the Army Act, civilians could be tried only in circumstances gravely affecting the maintenance of discipline in the army.

He requested the court to seek a report on the causes of deaths of the three detainees as well as record of proceedings against survivors.

Advocate Rahim told the court that the petitioner had requested Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to hold an inquiry into the mysterious death of his brother, filed an application with Saddar Bairooni police station and also approached the sessions court Rawalpindi for registration of FIR against the spymasters but all his efforts went in vain.

He requested the court to direct the police to register criminal case against the current and former spymasters as well as against the administration of Adiala jail who despite getting the order of acquittal of detained prisoners reportedly handed them over to the spy agencies.

It may be mentioned here that the accused — Abdul Saboor, Abdul Basit, Abdul Majid, Dr Niaz Ahmad, Mohammad Aamir, Mazharul Haq, Shafigur Rehman, Mohammad Shafiq, Said Arab, Tahseenullah and Gul Roze — were acquitted by the Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi on April 8, 2008, because the prosecution could not make out a case against them.

But before their release, the Rawalpindi DCO issued a detention order under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance.

On May 6, 2010, it was extended for 90 days by the Punjab home secretary, but it was set aside by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on May 28, 2010.

Superintendent of Adiala jail Saeedullah Gondal is reported to have handed over the detainees to ISI and MI. But in May 2011, the advocate general informed the Supreme Court that the detainees had been formally arrested in the first week of April and a case under Section 2 (1) (d) of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, was registered against them.

According to the written reply submitted by counsel for ISI and MI Raja Mohammad Irshad, the 11 men were among 20 suspects taken into custody from operational areas.

The reply said the men were in the custody of law-enforcement agencies and had been interrogated for their “close/deep links with terrorists operating in different areas of the country”.

He told the apex court that they were allegedly involved in attacks on ISI’s Hamza Camp, GHQ, defence installations, explosions at various places, killing of a three-star general and several other army personnel and civilians.

In August 2011, when the court was hearing a petition for the recovery of the three brothers, the Military Intelligence told the court that the detainees were in their custody and they had been kept “in accordance with the law”.

The military authorities also arranged meetings of the detainees with their family.