ISLAMABAD  -    Syed Saeed Saqib, an American national of Pakistani descent, has been trying to bring the kidnappers of his father to justice for the last 3 years. However, his efforts have remained in vain. The police have not taken any action despite repeated pleas and exhortations. The perpetrators remain free and continue to threaten his family with dire consequences, warning to give up pursuing the case.

The ordeal for the Syed family has shades of a crime thriller; trouble started in Feb 2016 when Syed Yusuf Mubashir, 72, the family patron and an affluent Islamabad resident who owns several properties in upscale neighbourhoods of the capital, suddenly went missing. Mr. Mubashar, a widower, lived alone in F-7 neighbourhood while his two sons – including Mr. Saqib – have lived in the United States for the past 15 years. His daughter and her husband, both doctors, live nearby in Islamabad. As the family searched for their missing father for several days, it received a phone call from a police station in Sargodha informing them that the elderly Mr. Mubashar was under custody. Perplexed and shaken, Mr. Saqib, who had arrived in Pakistan just days after his father’s disappearance, went to Shah Pur police station in Sargodha. He found his father in a gravely ill and unkempt condition. The police said that Mr. Mubashar was detained after he was spotted driving in an intoxicated state near the motorway. But Mr. Mubashar had a harrowing story to tell and said that he had been kidnapped by a group of people, who tortured him for days and made him sign several blank stamp papers and his check books. After keeping him in illegal captivity, they let him leave away in a vehicle, ostensibly with a calculation that he would die in a road accident, and they would then claim his Islamabad properties,” Mr. Saqib said while narrating his ordeal to The Nation in an interview.

“But it was our sheer good luck that police stopped my father and took him into custody. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise and saved my father’s life”, he said.

The kidnappers were not unknown to Mr. Mubashar, and Mr. Saqib alleges that the plot to kidnap his father was carefully hatched. It involved a person Ghulam Yasir Abbas, who rented a portion of Mr. Mubashar’s house in F-7 and became very close to him, often discussing possibilities of joint business ventures. Moreover, a woman Sadaf Hassan Raza, who initially met Mr. Mubashar to rent a different property but soon befriended him also and also started to discuss business ideas. Mr. Mubashar was not initially aware that both these persons were, in fact, planning to defraud him. In Feb 2016, Sadaf arranged a meeting of Mr. Mubashar with potential business partners and took him to the outskirts of Islamabad. However, during the meeting, the group of men posed as officials of Inter-Services Intelligence and bundled Mr. Mubashar into a Toyota Vigo after telling him that he was under investigation over his business dealings. He was then kept into illegal custody until he was allowed to drive away.

During the captivity, Sadaf managed to withdraw a cheque of Rs2 million from the account of Mr. Mubashar in a bank in Islamabad. Furthermore, the fraudsters managed to occupy a commercial plaza after forging documents.

The Syed family registered an FIR against Ghulam Yasir Abbas and Sadaf Hassan Raza on 20-2-2016, accusing Sadaf of looting bank accounts; later Sadaf informed us that Ghulam Yasir Abbas was the main accused.

“I filed an application with police station Khosar, met with SHO, tried to meet police high-ups, but never provided the chance; I even wrote to Chief Justice of Pakistan to help my family and me, but despite several applications, requests, nothing moved,” Mr. Saqib said in the interview.

“I am surprised that despite the lapse of more than 3 years, not a single nominated person has been arrested, nor the police are cooperating with us,” he said. Mr Saqib added, “I am an American citizen; the U.S. Embassy is supporting my case; a U.S. Congressman has also pleaded my case but in the city where I was born, where my father had spent his entire life; here no one is moved; no one is bothered, and no one is ready to provide us justice. I have to come again and again from the US to get justice for my ailing father, who is still in shock.” SHO Kohsar Police Station Sub Inspector Abdul Razzaq, when contacted by this scribe, failed to answer queries about why no arrests had been made in the case despite a lapse of 3 years.

“I request Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan and Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi to look into this matter of grave concern and provide my father and family with justice,” Mr. Saqib said. “We want these criminals behind the bars”, he said.