PESHAWAR - The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the interior and defence secretaries and the heads of intelligence agencies in the missing persons’ case, a media report said.

Hearing around 200 cases of missing persons, the PHC bench also directed Commissioner Malakand Fakhre Alam for an explanation over the non-recovery of the missing. Large number of relatives of missing persons, including women and children, were present at the high court.

Last month, the PHC heard around 200 petitions pertaining to missing persons. Due to increasing number of such cases, a two-member bench, headed by the PHC chief justice, had fixed Sept 12, 18 and 25 for hearing. The high court chief justice has been asking representatives of security forces, and federal and provincial governments that missing persons in their custody should be shifted to internment centres so that they could be treated under the law.

Moreover, during today’s hearing, Mohibullah, the driver of the kidnapped former Vice-Chancellor Islamia College University (ICU) Peshawar, Professor Ajmal Khan, also appeared before the court. The bench directed the driver, who had recently been released by the militants, to record his statement before a subordinate court. Khan, a locally-renowned academic and a close ally of the ruling Awami National Party (ANP) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was kidnapped by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants on Sept 7, 2011.

Khan is a close relative of ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan. The TTP had threatened to kill Khan if the government failed to accept their demands and last year’s deadline had been extended by the militants after an appeal by the Khan’s family and requests by religious scholars hailing from Khan’s native Charsadda district.