Producing Zardari’s aide: Spy agencies given 5 days

 
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ISLAMABAD JULY 21 (TNS): Intelligence agencies have been given five days to produce an aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari who was allegedly picked up from his house on April 4.

At the IHC hearing on Thursday, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani warned that the intelligence agencies operating under the ministries of defense and interior, “will have to face the repercussions of the judgment” if they failed to produce Nawab Leghari, the missing aide, by July 25. He suggested that representatives of the agencies and the investigation officer of the case resolve the issue together.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) submitted its reply saying that the victim was not in their custody. Other agencies, including the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence, have already denied having any information about the missing person.

The counsel for Leghari, Barrister Qasim Nawaz Abbasi, presented additional documents before the court which stated that at a press conference on April 15, the interior minister had said: “…an important development has taken place regarding the detenue, and that he had spoken to the heads of the ISI and the IB about it.

“This alone is sufficient to arrive at the conclusion that the whereabouts of the detenue are well in the knowledge of the official respondents,” he said, adding that the respondents had “tried to threaten the complainant”. He said an application about that had been submitted to the Lohi Bher SHO, but it remained unattended. The counsel alleged that Leghari might be in the custody of the intelligence agencies.

According to the petition, Leghari was at his house in Swan Garden, Islamabad, when some people knocked at the door and identified themselves as government officials. After Leghari and his cousin showed their computerized national identity cards to the unknown people, they bundled Leghari into their car and drove away.

Barrister Abbasi said it was possible for investigators to identify the vehicle using footage from safe city cameras. In her petition, Leghari’s wife has alleged that he might have been held in illegal confinement by the interior secretary.

Barrister Abbasi informed the court that the petitioner had visited the Lohi Bher police station, but the SHO had initially refused to register an FIR. He said the police registered the FIR only after the matter was highlighted in the media. The counsel requested the court to direct the inspector general of Islamabad police to recover and produce Leghari in court and hand him over to his family.

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