IHC CJ directs interior secretary to put SECP kidnapped official’s matter before federal cabinet Islamabad no longer a secure city: Justice Athar Minallah

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Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Monday expressed his displeasure the way police and administration was conducting investigation into daylight kidnapping of a senior official of the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
Justice Athar Minallah admonished the the interior secretary, police and capital authorities for their failure to produce the Joint Director of the Commission Sajid Gondal who was reported kidnapped on Thursday September 4.
The IHC had directed authorities to recover Gondal, by September 7.
However the senior officials cut a sorry figure before the court as the hearing resumed.
Gondal’s mother, has lodged a petition seeking recovery of her son from “unknown” abductors.
During the proceedings, Justice Minallah noted that authorities had been unsuccessful in producing the SECP official before the court and said: “Give court one example of a case in which missing citizen was recovered.”
Someone should accept responsibility for this,” the high court top judge remarked.
He asked interior secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar if the prime minister had been “told what is happening in the federal capital”.
“I am sure you have not told the prime minister about this case.
As soon as the prime minister gets to know about this, the state’s response would be different,” Justice Minallah said, adding the court had “complete confidence” in the prime minister.
Khokhar tried to assure the court that a “high-level” investigation was underway.
A First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged and investigation has started,” he said.
“You should accept your failure,” the judge remarked, adding that “everyone in the federal capital was feeling insecure.”
He observed that the current situation was a product of “misgovernance”.
“We are doing everything we can,” Khokar said.
“Your efforts are not visible,” the judge said. “For the past three days, only meetings are being held, the SECP official could not be found.”
“How would you have acted if such a thing happened with a federal minister’s son?” Justice Minallah asked. He directed Khokhar to notify the federal cabinet about the matter. The interior secretary told the court that the prime minister would be informed and the matter be placed before the federal cabinet in the next meeting.
Justice Minallah said there were reports that the commission for missing persons had taken notice of Gondal’s “abduction”.
“Has it been established that this is a case of enforced disappearance that the commission took notice?” he asked. He inquired if the commission’s chairperson had found some information that indicated that this was a case of enforced disappearance, adding if the investigators have contacted the missing persons’ commission.
“Is this a case of enforced disappearance?” the judge asked.
“Nothing can be said about this right now,” Khokhar responded.
Justice Minallah said the police’s investigation team should have contacted the chairperson of the commission to ask if the latter has some “personal information.”

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