ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Defence on Thursday submitted a written reply to the Islamabad High Court on a habeas corpus petition seeking recovery of a missing couple, denying having any information about their whereabouts.

The ministry submitted the reply to IHC single bench headed by Justice Athar Minallah and stated that they have no information regarding the missing scientist and his wife. However, a “special probe has been initiated to trace the said missing persons which is a time-consuming process and the court is requested to grant considerable time for completion of the probe”.

The reply further said: “The agencies working under the administrative control of this ministry i.e. the Inter Services-Intelligence and the Military Intelligence and the GHQ were asked to provide the requisite report and in response, they have replied that the alleged missing persons namely Nozair Hussain and Omaima Hassan are not in their (ISI) custody”. The MI Directorate also informed the ministry “that the names of Mr and Mrs Nozair Hassan have been checked against internees list (in all internment centres), however, the names were not found.”

The counsel for the petitioner contended that six months have passed and the Ministry of Defence has now started to locate the whereabouts of the missing couple. “This has raised serious questions about the competence of the Ministry of Defence that a person working with a sensitive institution went missing and they did not know who has abducted him,” the counsel said.

The petitioner had moved court through his counsel Inamul Rahim and cited the Ramna Police Station House Officer, the Police Inspector General of Islamabad, the Ministry of Defence, the ISI and the Ministry of Interior as respondents.

The petitioner said that Nozair Hasan had been serving as the General Manager in the National Development Complex (NDC) for the last 10 years and was married to Omaima Hasan while the couple had two children, namely, Hibban and Safwan, aging seven and four years respectively.

The petitioner informed the court that on the night of 12/13 January 2018 at around 2 am, a contingent of fully masked armed men attired in black uniform along with few persons dressed in plain clothes trespassed their residence and carried out a thorough search of the house.

“After causing unexplainable harassment, chaos and confusion, the armed men, surely believed to be men belonging to agencies, took along the couple while leaving behind their two children screaming and crying for their parents,” the petitioner said.

He said that ironically the raiding contingent of security apparatus was not accompanied by any lady official and wife of Nozair was manhandled and openly abducted by the male security personnel.

He continued that after hectic efforts, an FIR was lodged with the Ramna police Islamabad on January 17, however, despite a lapse of more than two months, the Islamabad police had utterly failed to locate the whereabouts of abductees, and as such, no information, whatsoever, has been shared with the family so far.

He had prayed to the court to direct the respondents to produce missing couple safe and sound before the court, who on production, be dealt with in accordance with the law and the Constitution.