Government’s lawyer justified the detention of two men by security agencies despite their acquittal by a court. Representing the respondents in a petition filed by the detained persons, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Muhammad Abid Raja told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday that the “two persons were being detained under Security of Pakistan Act 1952”.
Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Assistant Director Khalid Naeem Butt and Adiala Jail’s Assistant Superintendent Muhammad Tahir also appeared before the court in the case.
The DAG informed the court that the detention of the two men was extended on the order of Federal Review Board headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk. Opposing the petition, he contended that it cannot be based on habeas corpus because the men were not abducted illegally.
The petitioners’ lawyer requested the court to provide him a copy of the reply filed by the DAG. The hearing was adjourned till August 30.
Qari Muhammad Ilyas and Muhammad Rizwan filed the petition in the court on August 22 challenging their detention as they were acquitted by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), but they have been detained at Adiala Jail.
Their lawyer argued that the ATC Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan acquitted them on September 25, 2010 after the prosecution failed to provide evidence against them.
He contended that on April 12, the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench also set aside their detention order, but they were still being illegally detained in jail.
The IHC on Augusts 23 had issued notices to the District Magistrate Islamabad, FIA Deputy Director and Adiala Jail Superintendent.
Earlier, the RA Bazaar police had registered a case against them and seven others in 2009 for attacks on Surgeon-General Lieutenant-General Mushtaq Baig on 25 February 2008, on the embassy of Denmark in June 2008 and near Melody Market during the first anniversary of the military operation against Lal Mosque. Over 20 people including police personnel were killed in the Melody Market and Danish embassy suicide attacks.
Police had arrested them from Dhoke Lakhan on January 29, 2009, and recovered explosives, detonators and grenades from their possession.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2011.