Attorney-General Maulvi Anwarul Haq argued in the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the country’s spy agencies cannot be made respondents in any case.
In a written reply to the apex court, the top government lawyer said that the 11 men, who went missing after their release from Adiyala Jail, were not in the custody of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI).
The 11 men, who disappeared from the jail in Rawalpindi, were acquitted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) for want of evidence. They had been picked up for their suspected involvement in terrorist acts, including the GHQ attack and the assassination attempt on former president Pervez Musharraf.
Attorney-General Haq said the respondents have not been sued properly and that the proper party in the case is the Federation of Pakistan through secretaries of the ministries concerned.
The relatives of the 11 missing men claim that they were picked up from the premises of the Adiyala Jail by intelligence agencies – a claim denied by the spy agencies.
The attorney-general submitted: “It is the stated stance of the answering respondents (ISI and MI) that the alleged detainees are not in their custody.” He did not comment on a report filed by Punjab Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khosa, which said that the ISI and MI had detained the 11 men from outside the Adiyala Jail.
“The answering respondents (ISI, MI) however, reserve the right to comment upon the report as and when called upon by this learned court to do so,” attorney-general Haq wrote in his report. Sources in the Supreme Court told The Express Tribune that inspector general of Punjab also submitted a separate report in this case.
In the last hearing, the Supreme Court had directed the attorney-general to submit a detailed report on this case till November 25.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had earlier refused to transfer the case to a bench, saying that he would handle it himself. The court will resume hearing of the case today (Thursday).
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2100.