ISI, MI admit to deaths of four Adiala prisoners


The counsel for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) directors general conceded before the Supreme Court on Monday that four out of 11 prisoners of Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, picked up by intelligence personnel for investigation into their alleged role in the October 2009 attacks on General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, had died.
He said some of the remaining seven prisoners were in Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar and Internment Centre, Parachinar, thus he was unable to produce them in court. “No one is above the law and the prime minister also appeared in court when he was summoned,” the chief justice remarked. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, directed the spy agencies’ counsel Raja Muhammad Irshad to file a reply explaining the circumstances under which the four prisoners died and produce the remaining seven prisoners in court on February 9.
The court also directed him to file a reply to the allegations leveled against his clients. He was told further that in the meantime, he should arrange a meeting of the relatives, if possible, with the prisoners admitted to Lady Reading Hospital. The court also repeated notices to the attorney general and advocate general. At the outset of the hearing, Irshad sought time to submit replies stating that he was engaged by his clients. To a court query, the counsel contended that now these prisoners were not in the custody of intelligence agencies, as they had been handed over to the provincial government. He asked the court to order the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to produce the prisoners in court.
“We don’t know where they are, but you had taken away these 11 prisoners of Adiala Jail here from the court, thus you should produce them now,” the chief justice told the counsel. Justice Hussain noted that four prisoners had been killed and their dead bodies were thrown on the road, but Irshad contended that this was not true and it was a painful allegation. He conceded, however, that four prisoners had died in custody. He said the remaining prisoners were not in a position to be brought to court. Defence Ministry Joint Secretary Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqoob and Director (Legal) Commodore Muhammad Hussain Shahbaz also appeared on notice. The petition was filed by a woman named Ruhaifa, whose three sons were among the men picked up by intelligence personnel for their alleged role in the October 2009 attacks, through her counsel Tariq Asad. She had made the ISI and MI directors general, the judge advocate general and the army commanding officer concerned respondents. She alleged in her petition that her sons Abdus Saboor, Syed Abdul Basit and Syed Abdul Majid and eight other people had been kept in illegal confinement by intelligence agencies since May 29, 2010 and four of them, including her son Abdus Saboor, 29, had died under mysterious circumstances without any trial and due process of law.
She said Mohammad Amir had died on August 15 last year, Tehseenullah on December 17 and Said Arab on December 18. She asked the court to determine whether the deceased and surviving detainees, including her sons who were civilians, were subject to the Army Act. “If they are subject to the Army Act then the court should declare that their arrest and detention and the proceedings of trial have not been done in a lawful manner and, therefore, they should be set free in the interest of justice,” she stated. She requested the court to declare that the detained persons were in illegal confinement and had been tortured.
She also alleged that the four detainees had died because of torture and slow poisoning. She said her sons used to publish the Holy Quran and Islamic books in Urdu Bazaar, Lahore, under an organisation called Maktaba-e-Madnia. On November 25, 2007, according to the petition, Station House Officer (SHO) Hasnain Haider took them to the local police station from where they went missing. She said she approached the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on June 2, 2008, for the release of her sons but was told that three cases had been registered against them and four other people under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. Since nothing was recovered and no case could be made out by the prosecution, they were acquitted by an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi on April 8, 2010, the petition said. But before their release, detention orders under Section 3(1), read with Section 26, of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance, were issued by the Rawalpindi district coordination officer and later extended for 90 days by the Punjab home secretary on May 6, 2010. When a habeas corpus petition was before an LHC bench, their release was ordered on May 28, 2010. But the Rawalpindi jail superintendent, instead of releasing them, forcibly handed them over to intelligence personnel on May 29, 2010, it stated.


  1. Unbelievable & shocking! This fascism must stop, it should be rule of law rather than military law.

  2. I am brutally appalled. This is a blot in red on the sacrifices done by countless jawans and young officers which make the bulk of Pakistan Army of which (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) are the subsidiaries.
    Extracting confession through torture has been the culture of state institutions, whether civil i.e. Police, Special Branch of Police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or ISI, MI of Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies within Pakistan Air-force or Pakistan Navy.
    To say that it happens in other international organisations would be a very weak argument. To clarify that it is not the policy of the state institutions would be the right thing. To hold people responsible for this would be the right way forward.
    Pakistan’s strength and progress rests in the safety and protection it can give to its citizens. It is the duty of every Pakistani whether in or outside Pakistan to strive to achieve this. The minimum they can do is to write a very strongly condemn this and urge the courts to not only dispense justice to those aggrieved but also lay the ground rules to prevent such happenings any time in future.
    To legislate may not be the role of the courts but they are not prevented from doing this.

    30th January 2021

  3. We did it. So what? We do it whenever and wherever we want to. We are the authority to decide now and in the future…

    • Extremely sad and if only PT could release the comments I have made on this item of the news my thoughts can be shared with all other readers.

      Saddened beyond description.

  4. Is the CJ smoking something illegal when he says "no one is above the law". I wonder color is the sky in his world? There is no law and he is the main culprit himself. He has naver had the guts to deliver a just verdict. All he does is talk. He makes too many statements that show that he is not following the law himself. He threatens but does not follow thru. He keeps drawing a new line in the sand everyday. What a sorry example of a judge. I am extremely disappointed.

  5. Gilani is a hapless civilian. I would advise Chaudhry to be very careful dealing with the powerful khakis. Though he is already but just wanted to give him this extra advice of caution. If a PPP man or any other civilian bureaucrat had not appeared as summoned, he would have thundered like Sultan Rahi. But not this time because he had summoned DG ISI & DG MI.

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