Islamabad-The Islamabad High Court Monday granted time to assistant attorney general in an Intra-Court Appeal of Defense Ministry challenging a single bench’s verdict wherein it had imposed a fine of Rs2 million on the secretaries of defense and interior, Inspector General of Islamabad police and members of a joint investigation team (JIT) for their failure to trace a missing person.

The IHC division bench comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the ICA of Defense Ministry. During the hearing, assistant attorney general Abdul Jabbar appeared before the court and sought time for preparation of the case. At this, the court granted time to the counsel and deferred hearing for indefinite period.

In this matter, a single bench of IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had imposed the fine while disposing of a petition filed by Zainab Zaeem Khan, wife of missing person Abdullah Omar.  In its verdict, the court had also set a six-month deadline for the recovery of Omar and directed that in case the JIT failed to find the missing person, the prime minister might dismiss its members from service.

Omar is allegedly involved in the murder of former federal minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti and Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, the Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor in the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Zainab’s counsel Dr Attique Tahir had adopted that the court had already acquitted the principal accused in the Shahbaz Bhatti murder case and that there was no evidence against his client. According to him, the JIT comprised of the officials from police and intelligence agencies, including the Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau. In her petition, the petitioner sought the release of her husband who is allegedly under the custody of security agencies. She named the SHO Industrial Area, IGP Islamabad, the interior ministry and an intelligence agency as respondents.

The petitioner had prayed to the court to order the respondents to produce her husband before the court. She claimed that her husband was injured during a firing incident in Rawalpindi in May 2013 after which he became paralyzed and lost his legs. The incident was reported to the Ratta Amral police. She said that her husband was admitted to the Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital, Rawalpindi, when the respondents took him into custody in June 2013. He remained in their custody till 2015 when he was released on bail by the anti-terrorism court of Islamabad, she added.

However, she alleged that on June 20, 2015, he was abducted by the officials of security agencies. The petitioner said that a lawyer, Hammad Dadan, was also accompanying her husband when he was abducted, but the lawyer was later released on a writ petition filed by his father Mumtaz Anwar.

The Islamabad police had arrested Omar, an alleged Al Qaeda activist, in June 2013 for his alleged involvement in attacking FIA prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar. Police claimed that Omar got injured when the prosecutor’s guard opened fire on the attackers.

According to police, Omar, who sustained three bullet injuries, reached the Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital and told doctors that he was fired upon by robbers.