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IHC judge refuses to hear missing person’s case

IHC judge refuses to hear missing person’s case

ISLAMABAD: A judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday recused himself from hearing a petition seeking the recovery of a missing person who is allegedly involved in two high-profile murder cases.

Abdullah Omar is allegedly involved in the murder of former federal minister for minority affairs Shehbaz Bhatti and the FIA prosecutor in the Benazir Bhutto case, Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali.

After taking up the petition of Zainab Zaeem Khan, the wife of Omar, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui observed that since he had remained a counsel for Omar’s father, retired Lt-Col Khalid Mehmood Abbasi, he did not feel it appropriate to hear the case.

The matter would be referred to the IHC chief justice to fix it before another bench.

The petitioner sought the release of her husband who is allegedly under the custody of security agencies. She nominated the SHO Industrial Area, IGP Islamabad, the ministry of interior and an intelligence agency as the respondents.

The petitioner requested the court to order the respondents to produce her husband before the court.

She claimed that her husband was injured during a firing incident in Rawalpindi in May 2013 after which he was paralysed and lost his legs. The incident was also reported to the Ratta Amral police.

She said her husband was admitted to the Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital Rawalpindi when the respondents took him into custody in June 2013.

He remained under their custody till 2015 when he was released on bail by the anti-terrorism court of Islamabad, she added.

However, on June 20, 2015, he was abducted allegedly by the officials of security agencies, she alleged. The petitioner said a lawyer, Hammad Dadan, was also accompanying his husband when he was abducted but the lawyer was later released on a writ petition filed by his father, Mumtaz Anwar.

It may be mentioned that the Islamabad police had arrested Omar, an alleged al Qaeda activist, in June 2013 for his alleged involvement in attacking the FIA prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar. The police claimed that Omar got injured when the prosecutor’s guard opened fire on the attackers.

According to the police, Omar, who sustained three bullet injuries, reached the Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital and told the doctors that he was fired upon by robbers.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2015

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