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SC is told that missing persons are not in agencies custody

ISLAMABAD:Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq quoted two intelligence agencies as saying on Wednesday that the missing persons were not in their custody,In his first written reply to the Supreme Court on the disappearance of 11 inmates of Adiyala jail.

A brief reply submitted by the attorney-general on behalf of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence said“It is stated stance of answering respondents that the alleged detained prisoners are not in their custody,”.Arab, Gul Roze and Tehseenullah said that,the replies were filed a day before the expected hearing of a petition filed by Attiqur Rehman and others against the alleged kidnapping from Rawalpindi’s Adiyala prison of Dr Niaz Ahmed, Mazharul Haq, Shafiqur Rehman, Mohammad Aamir, Abdul Majid, Abdul Basit, Abdul Saboor, Shafique Ahmed.

The attorney general had earlier informed the court verbally that he had been in communication with the agencies which had repeatedly denied having the missing prisoners in their custody.At the last hearing, on Nov 12, the Supreme Court had ordered the respondents, ISI, MI and Directorate of Intelligence Bureau, to submit para-wise comments on the issue by

Nov 25.The issue became contentious when a report submitted by Punjab’s chief secretary claimed that the prisoners had been taken into custody by intelligence agencies from the prison, but the AG denied this.These prisoners had been acquitted by trial courts in four

terrorism cases, including charges under the Explosive Substance Act.

But, the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Imdadullah Wassal issued a detention order to prevent their release. After the expiry of the order a similar decree was issued by Punjab’s Home Secretary Shahid Khan.Both the orders were challenged before the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court by the petitioners. Subsequently, the high court ordered them to

approach the judicial commission on missing people set up by the Supreme Court.According to the petitioners, their relatives were abducted from the Rawalpindi Adiyala jail and allegedly handed over to intelligence agencies when the high court had ordered their release. A case was also registered in this regard.Earlier, the Superintendent of Adiyala jail, Saeedullah Gondal, and Deputy Superintendent Khalid Bashir were arrested from the apex court premises without any direction of the court. The AG submitted a brief reply on behalf of the two intelligence agencies On Wednesday, pleading that the petition was not maintainable because the 11 missing prisoners were not in their custody and also because they had not been sued properly.“An office cannot be sued. The proper party is the Federation of Pakistan through the secretary of relevant ministries.”

They were not replying to the report of Punjab’s chief secretary in view of directives issued by the court not to disclose its contents The respondents, however, said.whereas they also added that they reserved the right to comment on the report as and when called upon by the court.

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