Recover missing poet till 24th, IHC tells AGP

Petitioner’s lawyer expresses frustration over recurring ‘enforced disappearances’

Our Correspondent May 21, 2024
The case has sparked widespread outrage in the country, with many calling for the government to take action to recover Ahmed Farhad and hold those responsible accountable. PHOTO: FILE


The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday ordered the recovery of missing poet Ahmed Farhad Shah by May 24, accepting the attorney general for Pakistan’s (AGP) request for additional time for this purpose.

Shah, a journalist and poet, went missing from his home in Islamabad on May 14.
During a hearing presided over by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, AGP Mansoor Usman

Awan, the interior secretary, and Islamabad police chief were present in the court.
The plea was filed by the missing poet’s wife.

At the outset of the hearing, the AGP requested an extension of two to four days for Shah’s recovery, assuring the court that the law enforcement agencies would be able to locate him within the timeframe.

The court granted the requested extension, with Justice Kayani questioning whether or not the AGP had given the assurance after consultation with the federal government.

The AGP replied that he had the federal government’s complete backing.

The court also summoned the Islamabad SSP operations to the rostrum and inquired if the police had recorded any statements.

He SSP told the court they had recorded the written statement of a junior officer as a senior one was not present and sent the report to the defence secretary.
Justice Kayani remarked that the police knew what needed to be done and the court would not interfere in the investigation.

The petitioner's lawyer Imaan Mazari expressed frustration over the recurring instances of individuals being “forcibly” disappeared.

"It always happens, they pick up people and then say that we don't have them," she added.

She continued that it was not just one case and emphasised that she represented such matters every day.

Read ‘IHC castigates ISI in poet's abduction casee

Mazari then pressed the AGP on progress made in the past six days in Shah’s case, suggesting that if the agencies were not involved, the kidnappers should "at least be traceable".

Commenting on the absence of the defence secretary, she contended that he had never appeared in court whenever he was summoned.

Justice Kayani stressed the need to finish this culture.

“If a prime minister can appear before the court, everyone else can do so as well,” he added, noting that nobody was higher in rank than the premier.

The AGP assured the court that all resources would be used to track down the missing poet.

The IHC adjourned the hearing while giving the order to recover the missing poet by May 24.IHC urges clarity on working of agencies

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani on Tuesday sought clarity on the “operational methods” of intelligence agencies, observing that there was no objection to the working of the agencies but objection was raised when an act was committed outside the legal limits.

Hearing the missing Baloch students case, Justice Kayani emphasised that police, Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were investigating agencies, while the intelligence agencies could only assist them,

"These are the three main investigative bodies; other agencies can assist them,” Justice Kiyani said. He stressed the need for strengthening police, CTD and FIA to make them more effective. He also said that it would be better if there was clarity on the working methodology of the agencies.



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