Pakistani judge asks government clarification on rendition of Pakistani citizens to Bagram

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif has sought in the beginning of October a reply from the ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs on a petition against the abduction and extradition to foreign countries of seven Pakistani citizens now detained at the Bagram Theatre Internment Camp in Afghanistan.

Sharif directed the lawyer representing the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), present in the courtroom, to get a report and comments from both the ministries by October 19. The seven Pakistanis include Awal Khan, Fazal Karim, Iftikhar Ahmad, Hamidullah Khan, Abdul Haleem, Saifullah Younas and Rehmatullah. No news about the Pakistan reply has been received yet.

Sultana Noon, a member of ‘Reprieve’, a (UK based organisation dedicated to ensuring enforcement of human rights of prisoners), moved the petition for the recovery of the detainees. The petitioners’ counsel Salman Akram Raja submitted that the Pakistani citizens, held in different jails of Pakistan from where they were abducted were handed over to foreign countries without any reason.

Raja alleged that Pakistani authorities played a role in the abduction and extradition of the citizens to foreign countries. He said that an ordinary citizen suspected of being involved in any purported wrongdoing deserved a chance to prove his innocence rather than being handed over to foreign powers. He asked the court to directthe two ministries to make a representation as required by law on behalf of the abducted citizens and arrange for their release and extradition to the country. Raja also requested the court to register criminal cases against those involved in the abduction of the citizens.

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