Ihc’S Case Hangs In The Balance: Poet’S Physical Presence Needed For Closure

IHC Postpones Verdict on Missing Kashmiri Poet Farhad’s Case

Islamabad, June 1, 2024: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected the federal government’s request to close the case of missing Kashmiri poet Ahmed Farhad until he appears before the court in person.

Court Hearing

IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani presided over the hearing, which saw Farhad’s wife, Urooj Zainab, represented by human rights lawyers Imaan Mazari and Hadi Ali. Additional Attorney General Munawwar Iqbal represented the federation.

Government’s Request

Iqbal informed the court that Farhad was in physical remand until June 2 and had been allowed to meet his family. He requested the IHC to close the illegal confinement case.

Farhad’s Lawyer’s Arguments

Mazari argued that the case was not merely about Farhad’s recovery, but also about holding accountable those responsible for his “enforced disappearance.” She noted that Farhad’s family was unable to locate him at a police station in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), where they were told he had been transferred under anti-terrorism charges.

Court’s Decision

Justice Kayani rejected the government’s request, stating that the case would be concluded only when Farhad was produced before the court. The hearing was adjourned until June 7.

Background

Ahmed Farhad, a well-known Kashmiri poet, went missing on May 3, 2023. His family and supporters allege that he was abducted by Pakistani authorities due to his political activism and criticism of the government.

International Pressure

Farhad’s disappearance has sparked international outrage, with human rights groups and Western governments calling for his release. The United States and the European Union have expressed concern over his safety and the need for a thorough investigation.

Ongoing Investigations

The IHC’s refusal to close the case adds pressure on the federal government to clarify Farhad’s whereabouts and ensure his well-being. The case is likely to continue with further hearings and possibly the submission of evidence from both sides.