Islamabad IG ordered to submit report at next hearing
The Islamabad High Court ordered on Monday the authorities to provide compensation to the family of missing engineer Sajid Mehmood at the next hearing.
The interior and finance secretaries will be summoned if the compensation is not provided, the court said. The Islamabad IG has been instructed to submit a report on the case progress.
Lawyer Umer Gilani, who is representing Mehmood’s family, told the court that no report has been submitted in two years.
“A man was picked up in your area,” Chief Justice Athar Minallah said while speaking to the Islamabad police representatives. “You accepted that this is a case of enforced disappearance.” The law states that the person responsible should be held responsible too, he said.
Husnain Ibrahim Kazmi appeared on behalf of the interior secretary. He said that the ministry doesn’t have these funds and has requested the finance ministry for them. A letter was written to the finance secretary on October 13, he said, adding that he will update the court if there is a new development.
No one is bothered because it is an ordinary citizen and not an ‘important’ one, said Justice Minallah. The case has been adjourned till November 16.
Mehmood, an IT professional, was picked up from his house in Islamabad’s F-10 on March 14, 2016. His wife approached the court seeking justice for her husband.
In July 2018, the court ordered law enforcement and intelligence agencies to produce the missing person. This was the first time the court remarked that the Special Branch, Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence, and Military Intelligence must promptly report all incidents of “enforced disappearances” and trace them.
It ordered that Mehmood’s family be given monthly compensation and fines were imposed on the Shalimar police station SHO, IG, DC, and retired three-star Lt Gen Zamirul Hassan Shah, the secretary of the defence division, for “neglecting their duty” and not cooperating with the court.
The judgment in Mehmood’s case was recently cited by the high court in its order in the case of Sajid Gondal, according to Gilani. Gondal, an official of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, reached home five days after he went missing but Mehmood’s family still awaits his return.