LAHORE: The Inter-Services Intell-igence (ISI) said on Monday that Dr Ali Abdullah, the alleged mastermind of the Jinnah Hospital Lahore attack, was not in its custody.
A deputy attorney-general submitted a written reply to the Lahore High Court (LHC) on behalf of the defence ministry’s legal affairs director Lt-Col Sarfaraz Khan. The reply said that according to the ISI’s director-general, a detailed check had been carried out to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing Dr Abdullah and that he was not in their custody.
The LHC was hearing a petition filed by the missing doctor’s father Dr Sarfaraz Ahmed. In his petition, Dr Ahmed said that Dr Abdullah was an employee at the Jinnah Hospital and had been abducted by the ISI while he was on his way home. He requested the court to direct the federal and Punjab government to find his son and produce him before the court.
The petitioner’s counsel Asad Manzoor Butt submitted before the court that an ISI official had been repeatedly threatening Dr Sarfaraz over the phone. Butt said that following court orders, the petitioner had provided the phone numbers to police but the caller was yet to be traced. Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry then asked the investigation officer (IO) of Garden Town police station about the progress that they had made in the investigation? The IO said that they were collecting the data of telephone calls of two numbers provided by Dr Ahmed. Justice Chaudhry directed the investigating officer to trace the caller and inlcude him in the probe.
Justice Chaudhry said that despite a democratic government in place, agencies were still bothering citizens. “If the government is so influential, why are the agencies not in their control?” he said, before adjourning the hearing till August 19.
In previous hearings, the defence ministry had informed the court that Military Intelligence had no knowledge of the whereabouts of the missing doctor but on July 22, intelligence sources had confirmed that they had arrested Dr Abdullah.
Dr Abdullah, 24, had rented a house in Chung area in Lahore, where he provided shelter to the perpetrators of the attacks on Ahmadi places of worship on May 28. After one of the injured attackers, Moaz, was arrested and brought to Jinnah Hospital for treatment, Dr Abdullah planned an attack on the hospital to kill or free him and provided the attackers with maps of the hospital and a vehicle.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2010.