RAHIM YAR KHAN: A dental surgeon has been released allegedly after nine months in the illegal custody of the intelligence agencies, but with deep physical and psychological trauma, his family said.
Dr Abdul Qayyum had been missing since July 27, the day of his son’s wedding. “He went out in the morning to get breakfast and never came back,” said Dr Mueed Qayyum, his son.
Since then, he said, the family had organised protests in Islamabad, Lahore and Rahim Yar Khan for his release, and thanked the media for reporting on the demonstrations. They also filed a case at the Islamabad High Court, which ordered the intelligence agencies to produce the detainee on May 14.
He said that he was phoned by an intelligence official on April 26 and told to stay at home to receive his father, who was returned the day after.
Amna, Dr Qayyum’s daughter, said that her father had been barely able to speak since his return because he had been mentally and physically tortured during detention. He told them that he had been kept blindfolded in detention.
The family thanked the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, for pushing for Dr Qayyum’s return. They also thanked the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and civil society for giving them the courage to raise their voice against the illegal detention.
The dental surgeon was allegedly detained and investigated because of suspected links to Hizbut Tahrir. He was allegedly picked up within two weeks of the arrest of Brig Ali Khan of the Pakistan Army, who was later convicted of links to HT, which is banned in Pakistan.
The family acknowledges having links with the HT. Dr Qayyum’s brother was also allegedly illegally detained for two years for his ties to the HT, said family members and their neighbours.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2012.