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IGP put on notice as another PTI social media activist goes missing

April 04, 2023

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

Petitioner Rashid Rauf submitted that his brother Mohammad Salman Khan, who was a member of the PTI’s social media team, went to the Karachi Press Club on March 31 to attend a protest demonstration against the illegal detention of other social media activists of the party but he did not return.

He submitted that police were informed about the disappearance but they refused to register an FIR of the incident. He said he has apprehension about the life of his brother who is not being traced, and alleged that he 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 the court 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 10.

The court had earlier called comments from the IGP and others with regard to the enforced disappearance of three other PTI social media activists -- Mohammad Arshad Siddiqui, Mudassir Rehman and Fahad Jamal Siddiqui – who had gone missing in last week of March from different parts of Karachi.

Plea against death sentence

The SHC on Monday directed the counsel for a petitioner who challenged the death sentence of a banned militant outfit activist by the military court to satisfy the court about the maintainability of the petition.

Kulsoom Bano submitted that her brother Attaur Rehman alias Naeem Bukhari was picked up by personnel of law enforcement agencies on August 29, 2015 when he was travelling to Hyderabad from his house.

She submitted that the family had approached the court for his recovery; however, they received a call from some persons, who asked them to withdraw the proceedings if they wanted to meet the detainee. She said that subsequently they withdrew the petition after meeting with the detainee at a detention centre.

She submitted that the family later came to know that the detainee was sentenced to death by the military court on December 5, 2016, on charges of terrorism activities and the prisoner was taken to the central prison on December 1, 2022.

The petitioner said the jail authorities had now said that they had shifted the detainee to the Hyderabad prison without providing the relevant documents with regard to the shifting of the prisoner.

She said the conviction awarded to the detainee was illegal as no civilian could be tried by the military court. She said military authorities were also approached for the supply of copies of the judgment to the family, but in vain.

The high court was requested to declare that the military court has no jurisdiction to proceed the trial of civilians and awarding punishment. She requested the court to direct the federal government to provide a copy of the judgment of the military court and suspend the same till a decision on the petition; besides, the detainee may be provided all medical and health facilities as per the jail manual.