A missing 28-year-old MBA degree holder Indian man, who apparently became friends with a Pakistani girl over social media, is facing court martial in Pakistan.
Hamid Nehal Ansari, a teacher at a Mumbai management college, had apparently crossed over into Pakistan from Afghanistan to meet his girlfriend, his mother Fauzia Ansari was quoted as saying in Dawn newspaper of Pakistan in its Thursday’s edition. However, the report did not contain direct quotes from Fauzia.
According to the newspaper, Fauzia Ansari had moved the Peshawar High Court while searching for her son. On Wednesday, a bench of the court was informed that Hamid, who went missing from Kohat over three years ago, was in the custody of the Pakistan Army and was facing court martial.
“Deputy attorney general Mussaratullah Khan told Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Qaisar Rashid Khan that the defence ministry had informed him that the missing man, Hamid Nehal Ansari, was in the army’s custody and was being court-martialled,” Dawn reported. “He however didn’t specify the charge against the detainee.”
The bench later disposed of the habeas corpus petition filed by Fauzia Ansari, observing that the petition had become “infructuous”, as it was filed “to know about the whereabouts of the Indian citizen and the defence ministry had disclosed he was in the custody of the Pakistan Army”.
Dawn reported that DAG Mussaratullah Khan produced the Pakistani defence ministry’s reply to the petition.
“The agencies working under the administrative control of this ministry i.e. ISI and MI (Military Intelligence), GHQ were asked to provide the requisite information. In response, the Military Intelligence Directorate, GHQ, intimated that Hamid Nehal Ansari is in the military’s custody and is being tried by court martial,” said a deputy director (legal) of the ministry in the reply, according to the newspaper report.
“Qazi Mohammad Anwar, lawyer for the petitioner, said the missing Indian citizen was taken into custody by the police and Intelligence Bureau (IB) in Kohat in November 2012 and that his whereabouts had not been known since then,” said the report.
During a previous hearing, the then SHO of Kohat Development Authority police station, Faizullah Khan, had submitted a statement to the court insisting ‘a suspect’ was arrested by the rider squad after information was provided by Intelligence Bureau inspector Naeem Khan on 14 November, 2012.
Faizullah had said that the suspect was interrogated and his luggage was brought from Palwasha Hotel, where he was staying. He had claimed that a fake identity card by the name of Hamza was also recovered from Hamid Nehal Ansari and alleged that he was later on taken away by the personnel of ISI and MI.
“Ansari, a 28-year-old MBA degree holder, was a teacher at the Mumbai Management College. The petitioner [Fauzia Ansari] claimed her son was in contact with some Pakistani friends, who suggested he cross into Pakistan from Afghanistan without visa. She said her son was an educated person and had gone to Afghanistan in search of job,” said the paper. “The petitioner said her son became friends with a Pakistani girl through social media and that he entered Pakistan to see her.”
Fauzia Ansari had earlier sent an application to the human rights cell of the Supreme Court, which had forwarded the case to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances in March 2014.
On April 10, 2014, the commission had directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home department to form a joint investigation team for tracing the whereabouts of Hamid Ansari. The commission had also ordered the provincial police officer to register an FIR of the Indian national’s disappearance.
A related report in Daily Mail of England said that Fauzia had also moved a petition in the Indian Supreme Court and that the court recently dismissed the petition. “The counsel for the Union of India says it is making all efforts which are permissible in law to trace the whereabouts of the petitioner’s son and therefore, no further direction can be given,” read the court order.
The Daily Mail report also said that Fauzia wanted to travel to Pakistan to trace her son, but didn’t get the visa.
From this report it seems that Fauzia had probably filed the petition in the Peshawar High Court through some other person/agency.