LHC asks interior, foreign ministries to respond


The Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice (CJ) on Friday sought reply in one week from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior on a petition challenging abduction and extradition of seven Pakistanis detained at the Bagram Jail in Afghanistan.
Earlier, the deputy attorney general, on behalf of the federal government, informed the court that prisoners were not abducted from Pakistan but had gone to Afghanistan allegedly on their own free will to take part in “jihad”. The petition was filed by Sultana Noon, a fellow of Reprieve in Pakistan, a UK-based organisation dedicated to ensure enforcement of human rights of prisoners, asking the federal government to make efforts for release of the innocent detainees.
Pleading the case of seven Pakistanis detained at the Bagram Theatre Internment Camp in Afghanistan, the petitioner alleged that they were abducted from prison and handed over to foreign countries without any reason. Noon requested the court to issue directions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the federal government to take diplomatic steps for the release of seven Pakistanis, who despite being innocent, are in detention in Afghanistan under alleged charges of affiliation with banned outfits.
The abducted people include Awwal Khan, Hamidullah Khan, Abdul Haleem Saifullah, Fazal Karim, Amal Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Younas Rehmatullah. The petitioner submitted that ordinary Pakistanis, for one reason or another, were being suspected of involvement in any purported wrongdoings and handed over to foreign powers. She alleged that Pakistani authorities played their role in the abduction and extradition of these citizens.
The petitioner, therefore, requested the court that the respondent ministries be directed to represent, as required by law, on behalf of the abducted citizens held at Bagram Jail and make arrangements for their release and extradition to the country. Noon requested the court to order registration of criminal cases against the people involved in abduction of citizens and their handing over to foreign countries.