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IHC Directs Government to Ensure Recovery of Missing Poet Ahmed Farhad by Friday

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has mandated the government to recover the missing Kashmiri poet Ahmed Farhad by Friday. This order was issued by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani during a hearing on the petition for Farhad’s recovery.

Farhad, renowned for his defiant prose, was allegedly abducted from his home last week. His wife filed a petition with the IHC on May 15, requesting the court to identify, investigate, and prosecute those responsible for his disappearance. Human rights lawyer Iman Mazari represented Farhad’s wife in the case.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan assured the IHC judge of Farhad’s rescue and recovery. “We will do whatever it takes. We will rescue and recover Farhad,” AGP Awan pledged, taking responsibility for the matter. The hearing also included the interior secretary and Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Syed Ali Nasir Rizvi.

Justice Kayani ordered the AGP to ensure no more abductions occur in Islamabad. “If a person is not recovered, it is a failure of the state,” the judge stated. AGP Awan requested time to ensure the poet’s recovery and was asked if his statement was made in consultation with the federal government.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Iman Mazari, urged the AGP to share progress made in the past six days. She highlighted that this case was not an isolated incident, as she deals with similar cases daily. Justice Kayani noted that the situation has put the government in a difficult position. AGP Awan reiterated his commitment to utilizing all available resources.

During the hearing, the Islamabad Operations Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) informed the court of a written statement received from the Ministry of Defence due to a senior official’s absence. Justice Kayani asked if the statement was issued under Article 161, emphasizing that the police should conduct their investigations without court interference.

The interior secretary attended the hearing, but the defence secretary was absent. The petitioner’s counsel criticized the defence secretary’s repeated absences, stating that this practice must end. Justice Kayani asserted that everyone must comply with court summons, noting that if the prime minister can appear in court, so can others. He directed the defence secretary to appear at the next hearing.

The court adjourned the case until Friday.

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