Pak spy agencies admit having Adiala Jail’s “missing prisoners” in their custody

Friday, December 10, 2010

ISLAMABAD - The mystery of eleven missing prisoners of Adiala Jail has finally been solved, as Pakistan’s top intelligence agencies have confessed before the Supreme Court that the terror accused are in their custody, and are being tried under the Army Act.

During the course of the court proceedings, Raja Muhammad Irshad, counsel for the federation, the Pakistan Army, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) the Military Intelligence (MI), told a three-member bench that the missing prisoners had been in their custody after being arrested during a massive operation, the Daily Times reported.

They were in safe and secure hands and would be charged under the Army Act, he said, adding that their trial would be held in the General Field Court Martial in accordance with law.

Giving details of the incident, he said that the eleven prisoners, soon after their release from the jail, had voluntarily submitted themselves in the custody of people who had disguised themselves as secret agencies’ personnel.

From there, they were taken to operational areas, as they had close links with a well-knit terrorist organisation and were prepared to cause further damage by launching attacks on the army and sensitive installations, he added.

Recording his statement on behalf of the respondents, Irshad said that the negative impression about the Pakistan Army and its other institutions, that they were above law and the court, had been given by certain elements playing in the hands of the people, who were out to secure their vested interests.

“I want to record a statement to dispel the impression that the Pakistan Army or any of its organs, is above law and defy the court’s orders. They submit themselves before the constitution and hold the apex court in the highest regard,” he said.

“They appreciate what the court is doing for the constitutional governance of the country,” he added. He said these institutions had been bound to follow the order and judgement of this court,” he added.

It is noteworthy that the eleven prisoners had been acquitted by an anti-terrorism court in April this year in four different cases, including rocket firing on the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, rocket firing on a plane of former president, a suicide attack on the bus of an intelligence agency’s personnel in Rawalpindi, and the suicide attack on the main entrance of the military headquarters. Thereafter, jail authorities allegedly handed them over to the spy agencies.

On November 12, a three-member Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, issued notices to the heads of the ISI, MI and the IB, seeking explanation over the missing prisoners of the Adiala Jail, allegedly abducted by the intelligence agencies.

On November 24, Attorney General Moulvi Anwarul Haq submitted a reply in the Supreme Court’s Registrar office on behalf of the chiefs of the intelligence agencies, stating that the eleven missing prisoners of the Adiala Jail were not in their custody

In their reply, the heads of intelligence agencies also stated that they or the intelligence agencies could not be made respondents in the constitutional petitions, and that the petitions filed by the legal heirs of the missing prisoners or other missing persons were not maintainable. (ANI)

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