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Death in custody: plea against spy agencies withdrawn

October 11, 2012

The image shows men detained and hooded by security forces. — Photo by Reuters

RAWALPINDI, Oct 11: The elder brother of a prisoner, who died in the custody of intelligence agencies on January 21, 2012, has withdrawn his petition filed with a court of law seeking registration of a criminal case against the spymasters after an alleged out-of-court settlement, it has been learnt.

On the petition of Mufti Abdul Shakoor over the mysterious death of his brother Abdul Saboor, the additional sessions judge of Rawalpindi, Naveed Iqbal, had summoned the directors-general of Inter Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence in July 2012.

The 29-year-old man was the fourth civilian detained in the GHQ and Hamza camp attack case to have died under mysterious circumstances since August 2011.

Saboor was among the 11 prisoners in Adiala jail who were kept in detention even after their acquittal by a court and later handed over to the intelligence agencies.

It may be recalled that Mohammad Aamir died on Aug 15, 2011; Tahseenullah on Dec 17 and Said Arab on Dec 18, 2011, in spy agencies’ custody. Their bodies were recovered from the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

Mufti Abdul Shakoor had in August last year filed a petition with Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the release of his three brothers - Abdul Saboor, Abdul Majid and Abdul Basit — but the court rejected his plea.

According to the petition, Saboor had been picked up on Nov 25, 2007, along with his younger brothers Abdul Basit and Abdul Majid from Lahore.

When contacted, Col (retired) Inamur Rahim, the counsel for Mufti Shakoor, said the petition had been withdrawn by the petitioner without consulting him.

He said officials of investigation agencies might have pressured the petitioner for a compromise because after the death of Abdul Saboor his two brothers — Majid and Basit — were still in the custody of the military and he was still at the receiving end.

Mufti Shakoor, however, denied that the withdrawal of petition was a result of a deal with military authorities. "I withdrew the petition on the advice of my elders," he said.

He said the court proceedings were not giving them any benefit but it was creating some trouble for them as they had to travel from one city to another to pursue the cases.