Pak Supreme Court hauls up ISI in missing people case

Pakistan`s Supreme Court on Thursday hauled up the country`s three main spy agencies, including ISI, and raised questions about their functioning, amid a row over a controversial case where people were reported missing.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2010, 22:00 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court on Thursday
hauled up the country`s three main spy agencies, including the
powerful ISI, and raised questions about their functioning,
amid a row over a controversial case where people were
reported missing after acquittal by an anti-terrorism court.

The top court raised questions about the functioning
of the country?s three main intelligence agencies -- the
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence and
Intelligence Bureau -- and asked on what ground they could
claim that they should not be made party to the case regarding
11 terror suspects reported missing from a prison.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar
Chaudhry, which is hearing a case regarding the men reported
missing from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, made several
observations about the functioning of the Inter-Services
Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau.

The bench also made several critical remarks on a
report submitted on behalf of the intelligence agencies by
Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq.

In the report submitted yesterday, the intelligence
agencies said the missing men were not in their custody.

They also contended that they could not be made
respondents or party to the case.

The intelligence agencies further contended that the
petition filed by the families of the missing men was not
maintainable and they had not been sued properly.
The agencies said only the federal government or
secretaries of concerned departments could be sued in this
matter.

During the hearing of the case today, the Chief
Justice asked the Attorney General under which law the secret
agencies were functioning and why they could not be made party
to any case.

Various important points have been raised in the
response from the sensitive agencies, and such objections do
have far-reaching ramifications, the Chief Justice remarked.

Despite the report submitted on behalf of the three
intelligence agencies, the Punjab Home Secretary submitted
another report today that said the missing prisoners were in
the custody of the ISI.

The Supreme Court had recently created a flutter by
issuing notices to the heads of the ISI, MI and IB to provide
information on the missing men.

The men went missing after an anti-terrorism court
acquitted them of several charges, including a plot to attack
former President Pervez Musharraf, possession of suicide
jackets and attacks on military installations.

The Chief Justice had also contended that there was
evidence to show the men were in the custody of the
intelligence agencies.

During today?s hearing, the court issued fresh
notices seeking information to the Punjab Home Secretary and
other police and civil officials. It adjourned the case till
December 13.

The apex court has been hearing a petition asking it
to direct authorities to trace Niaz Ahmed, Mazharul Haq,
Shafiqur Rehman, Mohammad Aamir, Abdul Majid, Abdul Basit,
Abdul Saboor, Shafique Ahmed, Said Arab, Gul Roze and
Tehseenullah, who were reported missing from Adiala Jail.

PTI