Islamabad - The woman seeking recovery of her missing husband yesterday moved two applications before Islamabad High Court after the government agencies’ absolute denial of having any information regarding the whereabouts of the missing person.

The petitioner Mahera Sajid seeking recovery of her husband Sajid Mehmood, who has been missing since March 14 this year, moved two separate applications seeking maintenance allowance from the government till her husband gets recovered and reports with point-to-point comparison of efforts and steps taken for the recovery of Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice’s son and her husband.

In the two applications, she also demanded to constitute an independent and forensically skilled commission and departmental inquiry against inspector general of Islamabad police and station house officer (SHO) Shalimar police station for not lodging FIR and investigating the matter for four months.

Mahera filed the applications through her counsel Umar Gilani Advocate and nominated secretary interior, secretary defence, IGP Islamabad, director general Intelligence Bureau (IB), director general Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and director general Military Intelligence (MI) and SHO Shalimar police station as respondents.

On the last hearing of her petition on October 21, the interior ministry had submitted a report that 15 departments working under its auspices have denied any involvement in the abduction of Sajid Mehmood.

In its reply, the ministry had suggested the court that the petitioner should pursue her case before the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance as the Supreme Court of Pakistan has also transferred 300 cases of missing persons to the commission in 2016. It had further suggested the court that the petition should be dismissed.

The petitioner Mahera Sajid adopted before the court in her present application for maintenance allowance that her husband Sajid Mehmood was abducted from her house in broad daylight by armed and uniformed men in the presence of various witnesses. The circumstances of the abduction strongly suggest that this is a case of state-enforced disappearance. The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances has already come to the conclusion that “prima facie, this is a case of enforced disappearance.”

The petitioner stated that despite strict directions of this court, the respondents have so far failed to produce the detenu, Sajid Mehmood who was the primary bread-winner of his family. The detenu has four dependents including his wife Mahera Sajid, three daughters Hanaa Sajid, 8, Aymun Sajid, 13, and Haadiya Sajid, 14. Since the family has lost its bread winner and this has been exacerbated by the fact that the family’s existing savings are in a bank account under the detenu’s name which cannot be operated by his dependents in his absence. Unable to draw money from that account, they are facing a serious financial crunch. She argued that furthermore, with the only male member of household no longer available, the family feels extremely insecure.

Therefore, the petitioner requested the court that on account of their continuing failure to discharge their constitutional obligations, the respondents should, during the pendency of this petition, be held responsible for providing the dependents with reasonable maintenance for as long as the respondents cannot recover him.

She informed the court that her monthly expenses are Rs 117,500 and respondents should provide the money since March 14, 2016.

In her second petitioner, Mahera adopted that the secretary interior may be directed to initiate a departmental inquiry against SHO and IG about why, for over four months, they neither lodged an FIR nor investigated this case, despite having received a disclosing a cognizable offence which was registered as Entry No. 45 in daily diary of police station F-10, Shalimar on March 15, 2016.

She contended that the SHO and IG may also be suspended for the reason that they may not be in a position to influence the inquiry.

The petitioner also prayed to the court that interior ministry may be directed to provide a detailed report on the investigative measures taken (such as raids, searches, documentary seizures, call-tracking etc.) for successfully recovering Pakistani citizen Barrister Owais Shah who went missing from Karachi in June 2016 and a point-to-point comparison with the measures taken to date for the recovery of Sajid Mehmood.

The aggrieved lady further added that a truly independent and forensically skilled commission may be appointed for investigating this particular case. The commission should be empowered to search the offices of the respondents, seize their documentary and electronic records and examine on oath the responsible officials of the respondents.

She also requested the court to seek fresh reply from the respondents as they did not reply certain questions and just submitted ‘No Reply’ in the reply column.

In her main petition, Mahera Sajid contended before the court that she and her missing husband Sajid Mehmood were both engineers by profession and running a small software development firm called QualityClix. Both are parents to three daughters.

She said that it was March 14 this year when her husband was picked up by the uniformed personals and police did not register an FIR until intervention of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to whom this matter had been reported by the detenu’s father.

The petitioner continued that despite the registration of FIR and despite the Commission’s clear instructions to the respondents, no sincere and adequate efforts are being made for the recovery of Sajid from the illegal custody.

After hearing the petitions, the IHC bench asked all the three amicus curiae appointed by the court to argue over this matter on November 11 the next date of hearing of this matter.