Khawar Mehdi neither arrested nor detained anywhere, SHC informed -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Khawar Mehdi neither arrested nor detained anywhere, SHC informed

KARACHI:Jan.6: The Sindh High Court was informed on Tuesday that neither any federal agency nor the provincial police had arrested the Pakistani journalist, Khawar Mehdi Rizvi, nor he was in their custody.

Deputy Attorney-General Syed Zaki Muhammad and Additional Advocate-General Sindh M Sarwar Khan made these statements on behalf of their respective governments before a bench headed by Justice Anwer Zaheer Jamali during hearing of the writ petition of Sohail Rizvi, brother of Khawar Mehdi Rizvi, who has questioned the mysterious disappearance of his brother.

Khawar Mehdi had been missing since the arrest of two French journalists in Karachi on December 16, 2003. He worked as “fixer” to the French journalists. In the constitutional petition, his brother has claimed that Khawar was arrested along with the two French journalists on December 16 but was never produced before any court of law.

Impleading the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Sindh Home Department as respondents, the petitioner had claimed that his brother was shown on a local TV channel along with the two French journalists at the time of their arrest.

Arguing the case of the petitioner, his counsel Abid Saqi submitted that even Foreign Office spokesperson Masood Ahmed Khan admitted during Monday’s weekly briefing that Khawar Mehdi was under detention and being investigated.

The Deputy Attorney-General Syed Zaki Muhammad filed comments on behalf of the deputy director FIA (Passport Circle), denying that the agency had arrested Khawar Mehdi.

The Additional Advocate-General Sindh, Muhammad Sarwar Khan, also filed a letter of the AIGP Legal, stating that according to the information collected from all the districts of the province, Khawar Mehdi had neither been arrested nor detained at any of the police stations of the province.

The counsel for the petitioner insisted that Khawar Mehdi was arrested by the government and was still in its custody. He filed a written statement claiming that Khawar Mehdi was shown along with the French journalists on a local TV channel after their arrest on December 16 and the spokesman for Foreign Office had also told newsmen in Islamabad that he was in government’s custody and was being investigated. The counsel submitted that the very fact was reported by the electronic media on Monday and the print media on Tuesday. The two government counsels, on this occasion, requested for time to seek further instructions and the matter was put off till January 20, by consent.

Meanwhile, the two fresh journalists, Jean-Paul Guilloteau and Joel Marc Epstein, who were arrested and convicted of violation of the Foreigners Act 1946, left for their country at 10:30pm on Tuesday from Karachi airport
after their imprisonment was reduced by the SHC.

Source: The News
Date:1/14/2004