Enforced disappearances: PHC gives until Feb 20 for officials to submit reply

Published: February 7, 2013

The PHC has directed the chief secretary and provincial secretary interior to help relatives of detained men visit them in internment centres. PHOTO:FILE

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) issued notices to ministries of interior, defence and Frontier Corps, among other concerned authorities, to submit their replies in cases of enforced disappearances by February 20.

A PHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaiser was hearing habeas corpus petitions filed by family members of missing persons.

Arif Jan, counsel for Mulassima, informed the bench on Wednesday that Hakim Gul and Javed, husband and nephew of his client, have been missing since December 12, 2011 and alleged that they were picked up by levies and security personnel from the limits of Kopar police station that borders Malakand Agency.

In another case, the bench was told that a cleric Maulvi Israruddin and Luqman were abducted while they were offering prayers in Qasmi area Katlang, Mardan district on May 16, 2009. According to their counsel, the cleric was released later while Luqman is still in custody of law enforcement agencies.

Internment centres

The PHC has directed the chief secretary and provincial secretary interior to help relatives of detained men visit them in internment centres.

A writ petition was filed on behalf of 12-year-old Issa Khan who was taken to one such centre over his alleged involvement in anti-state activities.

Muhibullah, Issa Khan’s uncle informed the bench that his nephew was picked up from Haleemzai area in Mohmand Agency in 2012 and is being kept at Ghallanai internment centre. He said his relatives were trying to meet him, but authorities were reluctant to arrange it.

The bench directed officials to allow relatives to visit internment centres, adding that all meetings should be held under close observation.

Ghag case

In another case, the PHC issued the release of two men after ordering them to submit surety bonds.

The PHC had issued arrest warrants for Wali Jan, Rehmatullah and Abdul Aziz on January 16 when their uncle Muhammad Jan, from Hangu, alleged his nephews laid down a forced claim for his daughters Zahida, Ruqayya and Amna.

On Wednesday, the counsel for the accused informed the court that the three boys had not demanded the three females in ‘ghag’. The bench ordered the men to produce security bonds. If found accused, their bonds will be confiscated and another case will be registered against them.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2013.

More in KP & FATA