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Missing person to be produced in court

May 03, 2013

ISLAMABAD, May 2: Secretary Defence Lt Gen (retired) Asif Yasin Malik on Thursday informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that a man, who had been missing since 2011, was kept in the internment center at Lakki Marwat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and suggested the court ask the KP government to produce him before the court.

Secretary defence also told the IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui that KP chief secretary, through correspondence, was seeking the go-ahead from the ministry of defence to produce the detained suspect, Rana Amir, in the IHC. “We have conveyed that the court order must be implemented in letter and spirit,” he added.

Rana Amir used to run a dairy farm in Rahim Yar Khan. According to the petition filed by Rashida Amir (the spouse of Rana Amir) through her lawyer Advocate Wajihullah, Amir was missing since February 10, 2011. The petition for his recovery was filed by his brother in the IHC on May 28, 2012 after the family failed to locate him with the help of the local police.

According to advocate Wajihullah, Rana Amir was picked by officials of intelligence agencies along with his elder brother Khushi Mohammad.

The counsel told Dawn that Khushi Mohammad had a relationship with some proscribed groups in the past, and the intelligence agencies basically wanted to capture him. However, Rana Amir was also present at the house when the agencies’ officials came, and he too was abducted.

Wajihullah claimed Amir had never been involved in any anti-state activity but did visit Afghanistan several years ago, and perhaps the agencies had picked him for this reason.

He said his client was living in Rahim Yar Khan in a peaceful manner, and not even a single FIR had ever been registered against him in any police station.

“After his disappearance, an FIR of his abduction was registered in the local police station against unknown persons” he added.

During the hearing, it was revealed that Amir was in the custody of the intelligence agencies and had been kept somewhere in KP over suspicion of anti-state activities.

The court in earlier hearings had asked the ministry of interior to produce the detained person, and last week, had directed the defence secretary to appear in person and apprise the court of the facts.

After the briefing of the secretary defence, Justice Siddiqui asked the joint secretary interior, Mumtaz Ali, to coordinate with the KP government for the production of the detained person in court.

In response to the court’s direction, Mumtaz Ali said “I will convey your order to the KP chief secretary.”

But the judge said Mr Mumtaz could not convince the court by showing paper work, and said, “If the suspect has committed any wrong, he may be hanged, but the court cannot allow the law enforcement agencies to detain any citizen for indefinite period without assigning any charges.”

He directed the interior ministry to make all efforts to produce Rana Amir and warned that contempt proceedings would be initiated against the delinquent officers if he was not produced by the next date of the hearing.

The court will take up this matter again on May 8.