Send officials to Bagram base: Pak court to govt

A petition has been filed against the alleged abduction and imprisonment of 7 Pakistanis at Afghan jail.

Lahore: A Pakistani court has directed the Foreign Ministry to send its officials to visit seven Pakistanis allegedly detained by US authorities at the Bagram base in Afghanistan and to inform their families about their whereabouts.

Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan of Lahore High Court issued the order yesterday in response to a petition filed against the alleged abduction and imprisonment of the seven Pakistani citizens at the Afghan jail.

A Deputy Attorney General told the court that the government was doing what it could do for the release of the Pakistanis.

He said the government had written letters to the concerned authorities in this regard.

Justice Khan, however, observed that writing letters was not enough and the government must do more to help the Pakistanis.

The law officer argued that these Pakistanis had gone to Afghanistan to participate in jihad and were later arrested by US authorities.

The judge directed the law officer to give sound information to the court about the arrest of the Pakistanis and the allegations against them so that their families could pursue their case with US authorities.

When the judge ordered the Foreign Ministry to visit Bagram jail, the law officer said the government would not get permission to visit the prison.

At this, the judge remarked that it would not be impossible if the government decided to do it. The judge ordered the Foreign Ministry to arrange the visit of its officials to Bagram jail and report back to the court within a month.

The petition was filed by Sultana Noon, a fellow of the Britain-based NGO Reprieve, which works for prisoners` rights. She said that seven Pakistanis had been detained at Bagram in Afghanistan without any charge or trial since 2003.

She alleged they were abducted from Pakistan. The prisoners were identified as Awwal Khan, Hamidullah Khan, Abdul Haleem Saifullah, Fazal Karim, Amal Khan, Iftikhar Ahmad and Younas Rehmatullah.

Noon alleged that Pakistani authorities had a role in the "abduction and extradition" of the men to Afghanistan.


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