IHC directs authorities to recover Sajid Gondal by Monday

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday directed authorities to recover Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s (SECP) Additional Joint Director Sajid Gondal by Monday.

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan was conducting a hearing of the petition filed by Gondal’s mother at the high court over her son’s disappearance.

The SECP official allegedly went missing on Thursday evening, prompting top government officials, including the human rights minister and the premier’s aide on accountability, Shahzad Akbar, to issue directives for his “early recovery” on Friday.

During the hearing, the court remarked that if Gondal was not recovered by 2pm on Monday, then the secretary of the interior ministry will have to appear in person before the court.

“If Sajid Gondal is not recovered [by Monday] then the chief commissioner and IG police will also present themselves before the court,” said the IHC.

A copy of the court’s order was also sent to the secretary Cabinet Division.

Police registered a case against unidentified persons for the disappearance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP) Additional Joint Director Sajid Gondal on Saturday.

The case was registered at Shahzad Town Police Station on the complaint of the SECP official’s wife, confirmed police.

Top government officials, including the human rights minister and the premier’s aide on accountability, on Friday, ordered “early recovery” of Gondal, who allegedly went missing Thursday evening.

“We as govt have a duty to ensure his early recovery,” Mazari had said on Twitter, directing the Islamabad police to register a first information report over Gondal’s alleged disappearance.

“Protection of each citizen’s life is our constitutional obligation,” she added, noting that everyone must be dealt with according to the law and the “rule of law must prevail”.

Separately, Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Accountability and Interior, Shahzad Akbar, had also directed the Islamabad Capital Territory Police (ITP) to promptly recover the missing SECP official.

Akbar had taken a notice of the reported disappearance, which went viral on social media, a news release said.

In this regard, the Amnesty International’s South Asia chapter also released a statement for Gondal, saying “a former journalist and an official with the SECP is missing and feared to have been disappeared”.

“We call upon the authorities to establish his whereabouts immediately,” the human rights organisation added.

Petition filed in IHC

Meanwhile, Gondal’s family has filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court seeking the court’s intervention for his recovery.

The petition, filed by his mother, has named secretaries of defence and interior and Islamabad police as respondents.

She has raised concerns that her son could be subjected to mental and physical torture and that the abduction is a violation of his basic constitutional rights.

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