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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: saleem_shahzad
Full Name: saleem shahzad
User since: 1/Jul/2008
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Pakistan: US did deal with army to restore judges



 
Islamabad, 20 March (AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Under a deal brokered by the United States and the Pakistani army for the restoration of Pakistan's judiciary, many cases related to forced disappearances and detentions will not be challenged in a court of law, according to a former senior intelligence official.

Retired squadron leader, Khalid Khawaja claimed in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI) that the deal includes those Pakistanis detained by Americans and the Pakistani army and who have disappeared without a trace.

Khawaja is a former official with Pakistan's ISI intelligence service. He is also a leader of the rights organisation Defense of Human Rights which advocates in support of missing people in Pakistan.

"I know on authority that even the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz group (of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif) is on board on this deal, beside Pakistan Peoples Party led government," Khalid said.

"The main complication is the case of missing people, around 650 people, whether they come from Islamic backgrounds or those Baluchi nationalists who were detained during the military operation in Baluchistan, " he said.

"They were killed through torture and therefore the government does not want anybody to challenge those cases and wants the files of those cases to be buried in the files forever."

A spokesman for the Pakistani foreign office Abdul Basit admitted during an interview that the main problem in the release of kidnapped United Nations official John Solecki were the logistics.

Solecki was kidnapped on 2 February by a militant group in southwestern Pakistan known as the Baluchistan Liberation United Front, who want to exchange him in a prisoner swap.

His captors have presented a list of prisoners to be released but the government has not found many of the requested prisoners in jail.

"If Pakistani authorities need to release somebody they do that. The problem occurs when somebody has died of torture or is disabled," he said.

"The best example is of slain Saud Memon. He was released but only because his disappearance was on record. He was picked up from South Africa and then taken to Guantanamo Bay military prison and this way his disappearance was documented.

"He was released from the prison and sent to Pakistan where the ISI (intelligence service) detained him without trial. The case was filed in the court for his release. His detention was so much in black and white that they had to release him.

"When he was released, he had been tortured so much by the ISI, he was a walking talking dead man. He died soon after his release.”

He said when he was released he was presented in front of chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s Supreme Court on a stretcher. The Pakistani government recently announced it would reinstate Chaudhry and other judges sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf.

"Everybody witnessed that he was tortured and was near to death. No court of law took a notice of his 'murder'.”

“Now the problem with other detainees is that either they are in the condition of Saud Memon (near to death due to torture) or they have already been killed in the detention centres. The problem in the case of Saud Memon is that they could not hide his detention.”

He cited the case of Masood Janjua as another example.

"The then president Pervez Musharraf personally assured his family that he would be released then I was personally informed that he was no more,” he said.  

“The thing is that there are people who go to Afghanistan and get killed over there. Their family members always got the information about their killings. This is a different issue.

"Masood Janjua was picked up and the intelligence agency people kept assuring his family and his wife not to make fuss and he would return home soon and suddenly after many years they started saying that he was not detained by any intelligence agency but had gone to Afghanistan where he got killed."
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