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Imran Riaz not in custody of intelligence agencies, LHC told

LAHORE:The lawyer for the federal government Thursday submitted a reply of the interior ministry and told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that journalist Imran Riaz was not in the custody of any of the federal intelligence agencies.

LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Khan Bhatti heard Muhammad Riaz’s petition for the recovery of the journalist. DIG (Operations) Kamran Adil appeared before the court on behalf of the police.

Speaking to the petitioner’s lawyer Azhar Siddique, the chief justice asked him whether he had filed a miscellaneous petition. The lawyer replied that he had made the prime minister and the Punjab caretaker chief minister respondents in the petition.

“Don’t make it political. Otherwise, I will not hear this case,” the chief justice said to the petitioner’s lawyer. At this, Azhar Siddique withdrew the miscellaneous petition to make the prime minister and the caretaker chief minister respondents.

The chief justice inquired why the Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) had not come. “Today is Youm-e-Takreem-e-Shuhada. The IGP has gone to Gujranwala,” DIG Kamran Adil told the court.

“[But] he is absent in the court. Let him submit an affidavit and explain why he has gone without permission,” the chief justice remarked.

DIG Kamran Adil told the court that the police were in a constant touch with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB). “We are working together,” he added.

The chief justice asked the DIG to give the performance report in written form and explain what the police have done in the last three days.

The lawyer for the federal government also submitted a reply of the interior ministry to the court, stating that Imran Riaz was not in the custody of any federal intelligence agency.

The chief justice while talking to the lawyer for the federal government said: “I have not mentioned the name of any agency. All of you make a concerted effort. My feelings are the same as the petitioner, but we cannot express them.”

The petitioner’s lawyer suggested forming a joint committee of all the institutions. “The committee must have been formed. You should hold a meeting again today and also include two lawyers in it. If I realize that they are not doing anything, I will pass the order,” he chief justice said t the lawyer.

Imran Riaz’s father told the court that his son had made a vlog which they did not like and lifted him out of malice. The chief justice, while speaking to the father of Imran Riaz, said: “People have made vlogs a livelihood nowadays. They talk about other people so that their vlogs get more views.”

The court then adjourned further hearing on the plea for an indefinite period.