Human Rights

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani Gives AG 4 Days to Recover Ahmad Farhad

Adv. Mazari questioned unavailability of Secretary of Defense

Islamabad: Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani has granted four days to Attorney General Pakistan, Usman Mansoor Awan to recover the missing poet Ahmad Farhad today at the hearing regarding the abduction of Ahmad Farhad here at Islamabad High Court.

Attorney General, Usman Awan, Secretary of Interior, IG Islamabad Police, and SSP Operations appeared in the court. Secretary of Defense couldn’t make it the court because of illness. On the other side, family of Ahmad Farhad, Adv. Iman Mazari, Adv. Hadi Ali Chattha, Hamid Mir, Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, and a large number of journalists and civil activists were present in the courtroom.

AG Mansoor Awan presented the report to Justice Kiyani and submitted in court that we’ll recover the abductee using all the resources we have. He further added, “I’m giving you assurance on behalf of the state and institutions that we’ll utilize all our resources and recover the abductee.” AG Awan told the court that I’ll make sure that no enforced disappearance happens in my jurisdiction or anywhere else.

Justice Kiyani remarked that you’ve previously given assurances in the Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court as well. You’ll have to ensure us it doesn’t happen in Islamabad or anywhere else. Justice Kiyani added that your statement has a different effect and if the abductee is not recovered it will be considered as a failure of the state and all the other quarters.

Adv. Iman Mazari argued before the court that, this court was informed yesterday that the abductee is not in the custody of ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and MI (Military Intelligence), in other cases they also give us that stereotypical affidavit but eventually the person recovers from their custody. She argued we need to know what efforts had been made in the last six days to recover him. Agencies can locate him but they’re not doing anything in this regard.

Justice Kiyani told AG Awan, “You’ve raised the white flag between the institutions in the Baloch Missing Persons case, we honor your words, if you fail it will be a closed-end street and there’s no going out from there.” AG Awan said, the process for recovery has been initiated and, hopefully, will be updated by the evening. Justice Kiyani asked how much time do you needed to which AG Awan replied 2 to 4 days. Justice Kiyani asked, are you giving us a guarantee on behalf of the state AG Awan replied, we’ll do everything within our capacity.

Justice Kiyani then asked SSP Operations Islamabad about the investigation. SSP replied, we’ve taken statements of senior officers we met on “their” behalf but they said they don’t have the abductee. Justice Kiyani asked should that statement be considered under sec 161 CrPC to which SSP Operations replied, No Sir. Justice Kiyani said, we’re not interfering in your Investigation but you have to do your job because police are ultimately answerable for everything.

Adv. Iman Mazari argued that the secretary of defense never shows up in the court whenever he’s summoned, he’s either traveling or he’s sick, there shouldn’t be any immunity for anyone to make an appearance in court when summoned, they think it’s their insult to come here. Justice Kiyani remarked that if the Prime Minister can appear in court then everybody can appear in the court, nobody is bigger than the Prime Minister. He might be sick today but AG needs to make sure he’s here on the next hearing.

Adv. Mazari also argued that our concern is when more time of missing persons is passed in abduction they tell lawyers that they are stripped and tortured during the abduction, what if Ahmad Farhad doesn’t withstand the torture and something happens to him, who will be held responsible? We’ve seen that in Balochistan before.

Justice Kiyani remarked this won’t happen in this case since AG has taken responsibility. He further said, that the perception of allegations and reality needs to be changed else there will be consequences. Justice Kiyani remarked we asked the Ministry of Defense in the last hearing if he’s a terrorist or has any criminal background but he’s an ordinary man, even the police have no criminal record of him.

Justice Kiyani told AG Awan that we are counting on you, the matter must go in the right direction, we’re trying to bring a citizen back to his house, and the state must take care of Ahmad Farhad’s wife as the daughter of state. Justice Kiyani also told Ain Naqvi wife of Ahmad Farhad to share her correspondence with the agencies with the AG and directed AG Awan to look at the correspondence and talk to the concerned quarters, Ahmad Farhad needs to get home now and I own your words as words of state.

The hearing was then adjourned till Friday.

Ali Hamza

Ali Hamza is an Islamabad-based journalist with a keen focus on courts, politics, and missing person cases. Known for his in-depth reporting, Ali has established himself as a credible voice in the field of journalism. Follow him on Twitter @alihamzaisb
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