PESHAWAR: A divisional bench of the Peshawar High Court disposed of the case of Indian national Nehal Hamid Ansari, missing in Pakistan for over three years, after the government on Wednesday confirmed that he was currently in army custody and facing a trial in military courts.
Qazi Muhammad Anwar, counsel for Ansari’s mother Fauzia, had told the court that the Indian engineer had been visiting Afghanistan for job prospects back in November 2012.
The then 27-year old had befriended a Kohat-based woman through social media and had crossed over into Pakistan. Ansari had been staying at a local hotel in Kohat when police, assisted by officials of the Intelligence Bureau, arrested him on November 12, 2012.
“The intelligence agencies arrested him from a hotel in Kohat and since then his family and friends have been unaware of his whereabouts,” Anwar argued, adding that as per a police inquiry report the Indian national was being held by intelligence agencies.
After he went missing, Ansari’s mother had filed a complaint at the Versova police station in Andheri West, Mumbai. She had also contacted the Afghan consulate in their city.
The petitioner subsequently sent an application to the human rights cell of the Supreme Court in Islamabad, which forwarded the case to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances in March 2014.
In April, the commission directed the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs department to form a joint investigation team to trace Ansari. An FIR was subsequently lodged at the City police station in Karak district under Section 365 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The case was heard for over 18 months before the government revealed that he was being held in the country.
The Deputy Attorney General Musarratullah presented a reply from the Ministry of Defence which stated that Ansari was being held by the army and would be tried by a military court. However, the official did not provide details what charges had been brought against Ansari. On hearing this, the court disposed of the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2016.