Court asks why interior secretary hasn’t followed orders

Ppi May 31, 2010

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court directed the Interior Secretary on Monday to appear with an explanation as to why a court order was not followed for a personal affidavit saying that missing Baloch leader Abdul Ghaffar Langho was not in the custody of any intelligence or investigation agency.

A division bench comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Syed Zakir Hussain passed the order as the Interior Secretary did not appear nor was his personal affidavit filed.

Petitioner Niaz Muhammad Langho moved the SHC impleading the Interior Secretary, Sindh Home Secretary, Provincial Police Officer and SHO Garden police station, Karachi, as respondents. He submitted that his brother Abdul Ghaffar Langho, leader of the Balochistan National Party and a permanent resident of Balochistan, came to Karachi on Dec 9, 2009 to inquire about his wife Zarina who was admitted to the Institute of Surgery & Medicine on Garden Road.

He stated that Ghaffar was picked up by personnel allegedly belonging to an intelligence agency from outside the hospital on Dec 12, 2009. A vendor outside the hospital told Zarina that her husband was taken away by the unknown occupants of two wagons apparently belonging to a government agency. He submitted that the family approached the Garden police station to lodge a kidnapping case, but they refused, asking the family to approach the higher federal, provincial authorities to seek his whereabouts.

Earlier, the Deputy Attorney General submitted on behalf of Interior Secretary that Abdul Ghaffar Langho was neither in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency, Islamabad Police, the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh), all falling under the administrative control of the ministry, nor did they have any knowledge of his whereabouts.

The petitioner’s counsel Akhtar Hussain contended that according to his information, Langho was in the custody of the agencies, but the Interior Secretary gave no comments about them.

When the SHC division bench took up the matter, neither was the Interior Secretary present nor was his personal affidavit filed that detenue Abdul Ghaffar Langho was not in the custody of intelligence or investigating agencies, as ordered on May 14, 2010. The court issued a direction to the Interior Secretary to personally appear at the next hearing with an explanation as to why the order of May 14 was not complied with. The matter was adjourned for two weeks.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 1st, 2010.


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