The Lahore High Court on Tuesday called for a report from the Punjab home secretary by March 28 regarding the disappearance of the families of Faizan and Faheem, the two men killed by American national Raymond Davis.
The order was passed by Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain on a habeas corpus petition filed by Advocate Malik Munsif Awan for the recovery of Faizan and Faheem’s families.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Aslam Tareen told the court that the police had no knowledge of the families whereabouts. He said the houses of both families were locked and the neighbours had no knowledge about their whereabouts.
The petitioner-counsel was dissatisfied with the CCPO’s reply and said the police could not be absolved of its responsibility by reporting it had sent out some constables.
He said both these families had a large amount of money which could become a threat to their life.
Assistant Advocate General Wali Khan submitted that the families were free to go anywhere after receiving the diyat.
After hearing the arguments, the court called the CCPO’s reply incomplete and sought a complete report from the Punjab Home Secretary till March 28.
Awan, who had been one of the lawyers for the families, filed the petition submitting that both families had gone missing after Davis’s release.
He feared that somebody had kidnapped them and was keeping them in illegal detention. He submitted that according to the media, the families had Rs200 million paid to them as diyat.
He said there were also apprehensions that they were forced to accept the settlement.
He requested the court to summon the authorities concerned and direct them to recover the families and present them before the court.
The Lahore High Court on Tuesday asked the petitioner and a provincial law officer to be prepared to argue on the next date of hearing as to whether the court had the jurisdiction to hear the petition which challenged the payment of diyat to the heirs of Faheem and Faizan.
Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain fixed March 29 as the next date of hearing on the petition filed by Advocate Rana Ilmuddin Ghazi who challenged payment of diyat by “the government of Pakistan”, calling the act illegal, unlawful and un-Islamic.
Ghazi asked the court to initiate proceedings to ascertain who did not charge Davis under the Anti-Terrorism Act and for spying on the state.
The petitioner submitted that the sudden release of Davis left people in shock. He said Davis was involved in anti-Pakistan activities but the investigators did not question him on these matters.
He said his release had left numerous questions in the minds of the people.
Ghazi said the people thought that Inspector General of Police and all other concerned police officials, officials of the Punjab prosecutor’s office, additional District Sessions Judge Yousaf Aujla, the Punjab law minister, and the Punjab Revenue Ministry had failed in fulfilling their responsibilities and crossed limits in helping the release of the accused.
He said the Law Ministry had paid diyat money on behalf of Davis from the national exchequer which the diyat law did not permit.
He said Davis’s name was placed on the Exit Control List on the orders of the Lahore High Court but even so he was sent abroad.
He requested the court to ask the concerned officials why Davis had not been charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act. He requested the court to summon the judicial file and the police file of the case and fix responsibility for these omissions.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2011.