Pearl case: Punjab AG issued notice -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pearl case: Punjab AG issued notice

RAWALPINDI- The Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi bench, on Tuesday issued notice to the Advocate-General of Punjab and Rawalpindi District Police Chief to explain why Pir Mubarak Shah Gillani , a suspect in kidnapping of American journalist, had been kept in custody.

S M Zafar advocate, appearing for Shafaat Gillani, son of Syed Mubarak Shah Gillani, contended that father of the petitioner had been taken into custody on Jan 30, 2002, by the Rawalpindi police and since then he had been kept in illegal custody despite having no connection with the kidnapping of the journalist.

Syed Mubarak is one of the suspects in the kidnapping case of US journalist Daniel Pearl who disappeared on Jan 23.

Justice Javed Buttar, after taking up the case, called the Assistant Advocate-General of Punjab, Raja Saeed Akram, and asked him to receive notice for AG Punjab, and collect information from the police about the case. The case will again be taken up on Friday.

The counsel stated that the detained man had nothing to do with the kidnapping of the journalist. The counsel stated that Syed Mubarak was surprised at the references made about him in the news dispatches.

After reading his name in the news report, he decided to clear his position and voluntarily appeared before the Senior Superintendent Police (SSP), Rawalpindi Cant, where he was interrogated for several hours. Since then he had been taken out of Rawalpindi and his whereabouts were not known so far, the counsel said.

The counsel further stated that his client had nothing to do with any terrorist activity or crimes like kidnapping. “He (Syed Mubarak) can prove his innocence before any investigating agency, authority or the court.”

The counsel said that Syed Mubarak was a “Gaddi Nasheen” of Hazrat Mian Mir and belonged to Qadria school of thought. He is 65-year-old and MA (Fine Arts) and MA (English Literature), besides having command over Arabic and Persian languages.

The counsel stated that he had preached Islam in the US where he had a large number of his followers (Mureeds).

The counsel said Syed Mubarak established an International Qurani (Open) University in New York in 1982; is the editor-in-chief of Islamic Post, a by- monthly newspaper (New York); is preaching Quranic psychiatric clinic in Saudi Arabia and the USA; and is the author of a large number of books, mostly on egalitarian aspect of Islam.

The counsel said that Syed Mubarak had not been to the USA since 1994. The counsel further stated that after the voluntary appearance of Syed Mubarak on Jan 30, some raids were also carried out illegally at his residence Garhi Habibullah and certain items and documents were taken away without showing any warrants of search or leaving any receipt of their possession.

The counsel demanded of the court to order the production of the detained man.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/13/2002