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Pakistanis detained at Badgram: LHC expresses displeasure over government's reply

Expressing dissatisfaction over the reply of foreign ministry in a petition for release of Pakistani citizens detained at Badram Air Base in Afghanistan, Lahore High Court remarked that the ministry filed report which reiterated the American line of argument. It directed the petitioner's counsel to submit her rejoinder by January 16 next.

Earlier, the ministry of foreign affairs told the court that US embassy in Kabul had been requested to allow the ministry's officials to visit Pakistani citizens detained at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Barrister Sarah Bilal, on behalf of the petitioner, opposed the ministry's reply and termed it a regurgitation of the information earlier provided to the court.

She pointed out that the court had directed the ministry to send a delegation of Pakistan embassy in Kabul to visit seven Pakistanis detained at Bagram Air Base and to interview them. But the ministry failed to follow the directions and tried to mislead the court by filing copies of two letters sent to the US embassy in Kabul.

Justice Project Pakistan had filed the petition through its representative Sultana Noon. Petitioner submitted that seven Pakistanis were abducted from Pakistan and detained at the notorious US prison in Afghanistan without any charge or trial since 2003. These seven people were, namely, Awwal Khan, Hamidullah Khan, Abdul Haleem Saifullah, Fazal Karim, Amal Khan, Iftikhar Ahmad and Younas Rehmatullah. The counsel said all the seven Pakistani citizens were being held without access to lawyers and without having been informed of the evidence against them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011