The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday directed the Inspector General of the Punjab Police to produce a missing member of the banned Hizbut Tahrir (HuT) group before the court within fifteen days.
IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was hearing a petition filed by HuT Spokesperson Naveed Butt’s wife Saadia Rahat. The judge directed Punjab IG Mohammad Habibur Rehman, to produce the Butt, who has been missing since May 5.
The petitioner’s counsel, Umer Hayat Sindhu, had contended that Butt’s detention was illegal, positing that his client’s husband was going to pick up his children from school in Liaquatabad, Lahore, when intelligence agency officials picked him up.
He claimed Butt had previously received threatening calls from unknown callers, adding that despite repeated directions from the court, law enforcement agencies had failed to recover Butt.
After the previous hearing, Justice Siddiqui had summoned the Punjab IG and directed him to produce the missing man by July 25.
During the course of Wednesday’s hearing, IG Rehman and Punjab Advocate General Ashtar Ausaf appeared before the court. Ausaf informed that the government is trying to recover Butt and sought more time from the court to produce him.
While addressing the Punjab IG, Justice Siddiqui asked how can a policeman sleep at night if citizens are being picked up from his jurisdiction.
“All are equal in the eyes of the law and no citizen of the country can be picked up in such a manner,” said Siddiqui.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.