Picked up: ‘All efforts will be made to trace missing lawyer’

Defence secretary appears in Islamabad High Court in missing persons case

Rizwan Shehzad July 09, 2015
Defence secretary appears in Islamabad High Court in missing persons case. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN


The defence secretary assured the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday that all efforts will be made to trace the ‘missing’ lawyer and departments under the Ministry of Defence have already been directed in this regard.

In order to achieve the desired result, some time is required, requested Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Mohammad Alam Khattak. The court granted the defence secretary time till July 28.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had summoned the secretary in a case pertaining to a member of the Islamabad District Bar Association (DBA), Hammad Dadan, who along with two others, was allegedly picked up by armed personnel of an intelligence agency on June 20 and has yet to be recovered.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief was asked to provide requisite information about the alleged missing persons, the ministry’s legal director Falak Naz stated in a written reply. “In response, DG ISI intimated on 7-7-15 that no information is held regarding missing persons. However, if any information regarding the illegal missing persons is received it will be shared with all concerned immediately,” Naz added.

In its order, the court noted that in response to a previous order directing the official to appear in person before the court, secretary MoD along with directorate legal appeared before the court and submitted that non-appearance was neither intentional nor deliberate. It was due to the fact that notices were received in office in late hours, it added.

Previously, the court had directed the defence ministry and ISI DG to depute officers who would appear before the court but they failed to obey court orders. Resultantly, the secretary was summoned.

Mumtaz Anwar Abbasi had approached the IHC saying his son, Hammad, along with three of his friends identified as Abdullah Umar, Ammar Dadan, and Ahmad, went to Masjid Imam Abu Daud near the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for Taraweeh prayers on June 20.

At around 11pm, the petitioner, through his counsel Mirza Shahzad Akbar, said he received a call from his son asking him to come help him as his car was hit by another vehicle from behind near a private school. Abbasi said when he reached the spot, Ahmad and residents of the area and a number of policemen present there informed him that Hammad, Ammar and Abdullah were taken away by armed men belonging to an intelligence agency.

Abdullah is reportedly a Hammad’s cousin and was allegedly involved in the killing of Federal Investigation Agency Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, the petitioner’s counsel informed The Express Tribune. Umar was arrested as a suspect in the murder of the prosecutor, but was granted bail on medical grounds by an anti-terrorism court in July 2014.

Abbasi has cited SHO Industrial Area police, Islamabad IGP, DG ISI and secretaries of the defense and interior ministries as respondents.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.


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