Missing Kashmiri poet traced to police custody in PoK

ISLAMABAD — A missing Kashmiri poet has been traced to be in the custody of police in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), the Islamabad High Court was informed on Wednesday, two weeks after he disappeared from Rawalpindi.

Ahmad Farhad’s wife had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) claiming that he had been abducted from his home.

When neither police nor any intelligence agency claimed responsibility for his custody, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, who was hearing the case, on May 24 issued an eight-page written order, summoning Law Minister Azam Tarar along with the sector commanders of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) as well as the defence and interior secretaries in person before the court on May 29.

On Wednesday, the officials of intelligence agencies did not appear but Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan told the court that Farhad was currently in the custody of Kashmir police.

Awan also presented a police report from Dhirkot police station in PoK, which had registered a case against him.

The Islamabad police chief told the court that since the poet was in the custody of Kashmir police, the area was out of the jurisdiction of the Islamabad police.

During the hearing, Justice Kayani ordered the Attorney General to ensure that “no one gets picked up from Islamabad.” “If a person is not recovered, it will be a failure of the state,” the judge said.

The judge also observed that he would dispose of the case if Farhad’s family was satisfied but the case about the missing persons would continue. “I will send the file for the formation of a larger bench on the missing person’s issue,” Justice Kayani remarked before adjourning the hearing.

In conversation with journalists outside the IHC, Law Minister Tarar said the police are investigating the Kashmiri poet’s case. “Ahmad Farhad is in PoK, I assisted on constitutional matters as a judicial assistant,” he said, explaining his presence at the court.

Farhad, known for his defiant poetry, was allegedly abducted and his location was not shared with the court until the judge showed his mettle to summon the powerful intelligence agencies. — PTI)