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IHC warns of summoning PM if court orders for recovery of Shahzad Akbar’s brother flouted

ISLAMABAD, JUN 2: Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) warned on Friday that if the court’s order to recover Mirza Murad Akbar, brother of former PM Imran Khan’s aide Shahzad Akbar, was not complied with, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif would be summoned to court.

The judge issued the remarks while hearing a petition seeking the recovery of Murad, who his family claims was picked up by law-enforcement personnel.

In the last hearing on May 31, the court had directed the capital police to produce the missing man within the next two days.

According to a first-information report (FIR) registered with Shalimar police station, Murad was “abducted” by people purportedly from different law-enforcement agencies from his Islamabad residence on May 28.

The case was registered under section 365 in response to a complaint lodged by Danyal Akbar, Murad’s son, who subsequently filed a plea with the IHC for the recovery of his father.

Several officials including Islamabad Police DIG Operations Shehzad Bukhari and Advocate General Islamabad Jahangir Jadoon appeared before the court today.

At the beginning of the hearing, Justice Kayani inquired from the police officer whether the individuals who detained Murad were members of paramilitary Rangers or the Counter Terrorism Department.

Bukhari clarified that the personnel involved in the raid on the petitioner’s residence did not belong to either of the forces, requesting some time to review the CCTV footage in order to determine the identity of the personnel.

The court expressed its disappointment, deeming it disgraceful that numerous individuals in Rangers and police uniforms forcefully entered a residence and apprehended a man, with authorities appearing “unconcerned about the matter”.

The judge criticised the expenditure of millions of rupees on a “safe city project”, highlighting that videos of private individuals were being recorded and shared, while criminals remained free to roam.

The court ordered a representative from the Ministry of Defence to ensure that the Director General (DG) Rangers appears in person, saying that this action “will have an effect”.

Justice Kayani went on to say that he would issue a show-cause notice to the DG Rangers in the next hearing.

The assistant attorney general informed the court that Rangers had not received any prior instructions regarding the case.

In response, the judge said he would issue an order that would ensure everyone understood the gravity of the situation.

He also remarked that the DG Rangers should have been aware if someone else had been using the uniform of his force.

“Individuals dressed in Rangers and police uniforms are arbitrarily detaining people, while no action is being taken to address the matter,” Justice Kayani said.

He said representatives from the various law-enforcement agencies should present their respective FIRs in the case.

The judge clarified that his directives aimed to safeguard the interests of individuals in “genuine uniforms”.

Addressing the authorities, Justice Kayani remarked, “If you cannot work effectively, then you should step down.”

Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned until Monday.

According to the FIR, approximately 30 people in Islamabad police and Rangers uniforms, officers from the Anti-Terrorism Squad and some people in civvies barged into Murad’s house on May 28 at around 1:10am.

One of the persons in civvies broke the door down. The armed officials entered the house and took away Murad, the FIR said.

The chef and the guard were constantly harassed and threatened by the security personnel, the FIR said, adding that they entered Murad’s room and took him into custody. Besides, his mobile phone was also confiscated after his room was searched.

The family members kept asking for a search warrant and the crime for which Akbar was being taken into custody but no response was given, it said, adding that during the raid almost 15 police vehicles, Rangers and some vehicles bearing private number plates with tinted glasses were present outside the house.

The complainant along with his family members has been running from pillar to post since the morning of May 28 in search of Murad in all police stations as well as FIA, NAB and Rangers offices but all have denied his presence/detention or record, the FIR said, adding that Murad, 44, was diabetic and was on insulin. He was also hypertensive, had a heart condition, which required regular medication and was also undergoing psychiatric treatment.

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