Missing poet found in AJK police custody

AGP confirms Ahmad Farhad’s location and family reunion

Our Correspondent May 29, 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


Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday that missing poet Ahmad Farhad was currently in police custody at a police station outside Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

The AGP presented an AJK police report before IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, saying that Farhad had reunited with his family. His statement indicated that a meeting between Farhad and his family took place at Kohori police station.

It was not immediately clear, what charges Farhad faced, who went missing from his home in Islamabad on May 14. But his brother, Syed Liaqat Shah, later stated,

“We will fight a legal battle to have the charges against Ahmed Farhad dismissed.”

The court heard a petition filed by Farhad’s wife, Arooj Zainab, through lawyer Imaan Mazari. During the hearing, the AGP along with Additional Attorney General (AAG) Munawar Iqbal Duggal and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar appeared in the court.

On the previous hearing of the case on May 24, Justice Kayani issued an eight-page written order, summoning Law Minister Tarar; sector commanders of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI); Intelligence Bureau (IB) director; as well as the defence and interior secretaries.

Read ‘IHC castigates ISI in poet's abduction case

At the outset of the hearing, Mazari stated that yet another citizen had gone missing for whom an FIR was registered four days later. When the court asked for more information, Mazari said the missing person had been posting about Kashmir on social media before he was forcibly disappeared.

Justice Kayani directed Islamabad’s top cop to look into the matter, saying that the court was not taking any action yet rather it simply asking the inspector general of police to look into the situation. He stated that questions had been asked in all missing persons cases, the answers to which were still pending.

During the hearing, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) notification barring the broadcast of court proceedings also came up. Justice Kayani maintained that the regulatory authority “cannot ban the reporting of judges’ remarks”.

Last week, the IHC ordered the live broadcasting of all cases involving missing persons while hearing the plea for the recovery of the poet. The judge remarked that the people become aware due to the role of the media,” he added.

Law minister Tarar informed the court that the matter concerning the PEMRA notification was being heard in three separate courts. The minister lamented the current state of lawlessness in the country and said the parliament “should also fulfil its role”.

Justice Kayani observed that there was no conflict between institutions and that no individual was against the armed forces. “There is no enmity with any agency,” he emphasised. “We only advocate for working in accordance with the law.”

Justice Kayani remarked institutions should cultivate a practice of operating within legal parameters. “Ask Ahmed Farhad’s family, and the case will be disposed of. I will send the file for the formation of a larger bench on the missing persons issue,” he remarked, before adjourning the hearing.




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