Missing persons: PHC adjourns most cases till May 16

Issues summons to provincial IGP, CCPO, ISI sector-commander and Fata additional CS.

Umer Farooq April 25, 2012

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court appears to have decided that it will hear all pending cases on enforced disappearances on one day.

On Tuesday, the court issued orders to enlist all cases that it had adjourned that day to the cause list for May 16. A number of missing persons’ cases have been already been put down for hearing on the same date.

As many as nine cases were heard by the court’s divisional bench, headed by PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, and all of them were adjourned for May 16. Summons have been issued to a number of officials, including the provincial police chief and chief secretary, Fata additional chief secretary, Peshawar police chief and Inter-Services Intelligence Agency’s sector commander for Peshawar.

During Tuesday’s hearings, a divisional bench headed by Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan was informed that one Darwesh Khan, a resident of Salarzai area of Bajaur Agency, was allegedly picked up by security forces from Peshawar Central Prison.

Petitioner Gul Wali, Darwesh’s brother, said that Darwesh had killed his wife on March 31, 2008, and imprisoned at the jail on May 1, 2009.

“Sir, this person was incensed and could have harmed himself and other people. This is why he was moved to Peshawar [prison],” Islamzeb, Bajaur’s political agent, told the court. “When he was being moved back to Bajaur, Darwesh managed to escape from Levies’ custody in Dargei when a mobile vehicle was stopped for prayers.”

He continued to admit that the Bajaur administration had totally lost control over the agency and its writ was confined to Khar, the agency headquarters.

“All this appears to be a drama,” the chief justice remarked. “He was taken into custody from authorities and could have been handed back to them.”

The chief justice then launched into a tirade of questions to Islamzeb. “Has the political administration conducted an inquiry into the incident? Have you suspended the Levies squad travelling with the prisoner?”

Islamzeb responded that an inquiry will be launched soon and the men will be suspended. “The incident occurred before I assumed charge as the political agent. But I assure you an extensive inquiry will be conducted.”

Ordering Islamzeb to respond for the next hearing, the chief justice said that many suspicions have appeared in court as to whether Darwesh is dead or alive.

Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney-General Iqbal Mohmand informed the court that two detained persons, Umer Farooq and Nasrullah, have been moved to internment centers in Guli Bagh, Swat, and Malakand, respectively.




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