IHC gives Islamabad IG a day to recover missing person

CJ asks intelligence agencies to make combined effort for recovery; warns of action in case of failure

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday said intelligence officials would be summoned if officials fail to recover a “missing person” by today (Wednesday).

The court issued the directives while hearing a petition for the recovery of Haseeb Hamza, who reportedly went “missing” last month. In the petition, Zulfiqar Ali said his 27-year-old son Hamza was a farmer and was working in Layyah. The federation of Pakistan through the defence secretary, the Military Intelligence (MI) director general and the Interior Ministry were named the respondents in the case.

On the midnight of August 22 and 23, around 20 persons – 15 of whom were in black uniform – raided the petitioner’s house without any search warrant, the plea said. During the search, they apprehended the petitioner’s son and seized several items, including five laptops, six cellphones and some documents.

The petition urged the court to direct the respondents to produce the detainee before the court. It also asked the court to identify and investigate those responsible, directly or indirectly, for abducting and illegally detaining Haseeb Hamza while also prosecuting those responsible.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah presided over the hearing during which Islamabad IG Dr Akbar Nasir Khan was present. During the hearing, the Islamabad police chief said that a case had been registered regarding Hamza’s disappearance. “This is intolerable, IG sahab,” the IHC CJ remarked.

He went on to say that there was an earlier verdict regarding missing persons, which held the IG and the officers concerned responsible. “The missing person should be presented before the court (today) at 10am. If that doesn’t happen, we will call each and every [officer] and take action against them,” Justice Minallah said. The MI, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) all will be made to appear to give an explanation for the state’s failure, he said.

The IHC CJ asked the MI, ISI, IB, and Special Branch sector commanders to appear in court today if the person was not recovered. The person in question is missing since August 23 and the case was registered on September 12, the judge lamented.