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Monday May 20, 2024

SHC issues notices to IGP, others on PTI’s plea

By Jamal Khurshid
March 29, 2023

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the federal and provincial law officers, the provincial police chief and others on a petition against the alleged enforced disappearance of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s social media activist.

The petitioner, Mohammad Ahsan, submitted that his brother Mohammad Arshad Siddiqui, who was operational head of the PTI’s social media team, went to Gulshan-e-Iqbal for some work but did not return on March 26.

He said the police were informed about the disappearance but they refused to register an FIR of the incident. He said he had apprehensions about the life of his brother who was not being traced. H alleged that his brother might be kept in unlawful detention by law enforcement agencies.

The court was requested to direct the police and other law enforcement agencies to produce the detainee before a court of law and provide details of cases if any against him. A division bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, after the preliminary hearing of the petition, issued notices to the IGP, federal and provincial law officers and others and called their comments on April 6.

In another detention case, the court took exception to non-filing of reports with regard to the whereabouts of missing persons in internment centres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the federal government and directed the ministries of interior and defence to collect reports from the internment centres and submit them before the court.

Hearing petitions against enforced disappearances, a division bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto observed that in most of the cases of missing persons, reports from the internment centres had not been collected by the police.

In the case of Syed Musab Bin Sajjad, who had been missing since 2014, the bench observed that no clue had been found with regard to the whereabouts of the detainee so far. The high court observed that police had failed to collect reports from internment centres and, despite several joint investigation team sessions, no clue had been found with regard to their whereabouts.

The SHC also directed the defence and interior ministries to collect reports from the internment centres and produce the same before the court by April 27.

Three more arrested

PTI leaders have condemned the arrests of three more social media activists of the party and called on the government to stop logging “false” cases against them.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sindh opposition leader and PTI leader Halim Adil Sheikh said advocate Hassan Khan Niazi was brought to Karachi as the imported government made a baseless case against him in the city and he may be sent to Afghanistan because anything could be expected from this government. Sheikh said the Sindh government was also an equal participant in this mess. “We strongly condemn false cases against PTI workers and leaders.”

Meanwhile, Karachi PTI spokesperson Shehzad Qureshi, in a statement, said that late in the night the police raided the house of another PTI social media activist Obaidur Rehman. According to the statement: “A police mobile and a double cabin vehicle arrived at Rehman’s house late in the night to arrest him. There are reports that there were no number plates on the police vehicles.”

In a statement, Sindh PTI General Secretary Mubeen Jatoi condemned the crackdown against the PTI social media volunteers. “The PTI demands immediate recovery of social media activists Arshad Siddiqui, Fahad Siddiqui and Mudassar Rehman.”