Indian leader petition SCP for recovery of missing Pakistani activist from Lahore
|Lord Chief Justice of Pakistan,
This is a writ petition being filed by Prof.Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Chairman of State Legal Aid Committee is seeking your Lordship permission to move this petition before the Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan with a prayer to issue appropriate writ, direction or order to the police/security forces of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to locate/trace out one Mr. Raza Khan, youth activist in Lahore and working as Convener of Aghaz-e-Dosti in Pakistan. He was abducted in Lahore. FIR in this regard has already been registered with Lahore Police.
2. That this intervener is a Barrister-at-Law, qualified LL.M from London University with distinction in 1972. Since then he has been taking up legal matters before several courts of writs in High Courts and Supreme Court of India as well as in other Honíble Courts outside India seeking justice for the unfortunate youth who had fallen prey to the wrath of the respective governments in the respective countries.
3. That this petitioner (Prof.Bhim Singh) received an email from Pakistan seeking support of the friends all over the world who have been fighting for human rights and justice. I am quoting the contents of the email, urgent alert which I am reproducing below:
a). We report in great distress that our friend and fellow peace activist, Mr. Raza Mahmood Khan CNIC 35102-3310354-7 has gone missing since Saturday evening, 2nd December 2017. He is about 37 years old, with permanent residence in Kasur Tehsil. Currently, he was residing in Lahore, Firdous Market, Model Colony, Street 3, House Number 58-C. He was living in Lahore for the purpose of studies and vocation as a social worker.
b). Mr. Raza Mahmood Khan is a law abiding citizen who has never come into any trouble with the law. He is a peace activist and has held many events for the promotion of harmony and tolerance in the society. The last event that he organized on the eventful date was on extremism, held at Lowkey Lokai, a public space located in room 709, Al Qadir Heights. He registered his organization as ďHum Sab Aik HainĒ in 2017 with his noble intention of bringing fellow citizens of all class and religions together by providing them with a public platform. He is also a proponent for peace in the South Asian region and always stressed on the importance of improving ties with SAARC countries in order to fight our common enemies of poverty, climate change and extremism. He is Convener (Pakistan) of Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a voluntary Indo-Pak Friendship initiative that works in peace education.
c). Mr. Raza was last seen by the event attendees around 8 pm near Al-Qadeer Heights. Since then, his whereabouts remain unknown and both his phone numbers 03004934142 and 03334126816 have remained switched off. We got worried about not being in contact with him for more than 24 hours and decided to search for him in our personal capacity. During this course, we contacted all his friends, his family and also his neighbors, but no one has any information about him. At his residence, we found Mr. Razaís door locked from outside, but noticed that the light was still on in his room. Upon breaking the lock in presence of police, we found his clothes lying around, but no valuable things were taken. Once we exhausted all our efforts and realized that he is indeed missing, we went to the police station where his brother, Mr. Hamid Nasir Mehmood bearing CNIC number 3510211977797 complained about Mr. Raza being abducted by unknown persons for unknown reasons. The complaint was submitted late in the evening (copy attached at annexure A). The police was initially reluctant in registering the case, however, upon our insistence, they registered the FIR on the morning of 5th December, 2017.
It is also pertinent to mention here that all events he held at Lowkey Lokai were public and open. We consider it the stateís responsibility to recover him and bring those responsible to justice.Ē
4. The human right group in a brief letter addressed to this petitioner (Prof.Bhim Singh) addressed an appeal to this petitioner which is produced below:
a). As you are a powerful political voice who support peace building and in fact with your important identities of being a peace activist who work honestly and dedicate for Pakistani prisoners in India, as an advocate who understands and respect national and international laws and human rights and as a politician based in Jammu & Kashmir, raising voice for a peace activist who has worked on IndoPak peace building is relevant and important.
b). We work as Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative that focus on peace education and advocates dialogues and people to people contacts between the two countries and we are working since the year 2012. In these 5 years, we have been recognised as one of the most prominent voice lead of youths and that also on completely voluntary basis.
c). Recently, on 2nd Dec night, our close friend Mr. Raza Khan, who is a local youth activist in Lahore and working as Convener of Aaghaz-e-Dosti in Pakistan got abducted in Lahore. FIR registered with police there but no clue yet.
d). Family and friends are requesting with Govt. of Pakistan to take measures for speedy search to know whereabout of Raza. Considering the sensitive issue and our close brotherly relations, we have started campaigning for him globally while his friends and family, local activists of Pakistan are campaigning in Pakistan. Yet, after 10 days, Govt could not search Raza there. Meanwhile, there is a huge support grown in Pakistan for Raza Khan and protests were erupted in Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore in his support. All progressive organisations, activists and journalists are supporting him. Media houses have covered it widely in Pakistan and globally as well. International organisations like Amnesty, Forum Asia and Asian Commission for Human Rights raised their voice in his support. People in Pakistan erupted their anger on social media as well and #FindRaza became a top twitter trend in Pakistan. Pakistani students also protested before Pak High Commission in London. Senate committee on human rights in Pakistan sent memorandum to police and agencies. A Habeas corpus petition has also been filed in Lahore High Court through senior advocate Asma Jahangir ji and LHC asked police officials to be present in High court on 19 December with their report. Amnesty International Germany also led a protest march in Germany. Many more demonstrations are scheduled. People at all places across globe are speaking who feel concerned for Peace. Recently, a powerful political voice from J&K Tarigami sahab also issued press statement in support.
e). In view of this, I would seek your support if you can issue a press statement urging Govt of Pakistan that search for Raza Khan should be in speedy manner to ensure his safe return and that peace activists, specially youths who are working for Indo-Pak peace building through efforts like Aaghaz-e-Dosti need to be encouraged and protected in both countries. Work of Indo-Pak peace activists are actually important for people in Kashmir as it is Kashmir that face most of the worse results due to long sustained hatred and violence between the two countries. Youths of our regions may pave a way of peace, of dialogue and of reconciliation. "
5. This petitioner takes this opportunity praying for an urgent intervention of the Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan with a prayer that;
i). That this Honíble Court may be pleased to issue instructions to the Federal Police of Pakistan as well as other agencies who are authorised to investigate into the kidnapping/disappearance of the said Raza Khan from his house on the relevant date when he disappeared reportedly from a house on 2nd December, 2017.
ii). The Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan may also be pleased to issue direction/order to the Interior Minister/Minister for Home Affairs of Federal Govt. of Pakistan to take all possible measures/methods to trace out the missing youth by ensuring his safety/security by restoring him back to his family members.
iii). The Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan may also be pleased to register this petition (though in formal) as a writ of habeas corpus without seeking the fulfillment of all formalities for the reason that this petitioner (Prof.Bhim Singh) is enable to perform such formalities for the obvious reasons.
iv). That the Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan may also appreciate that this petitioner (Prof.Bhim Singh) has filed several writ petitions in the Honíble Supreme Court of India in his personal capacity (Bhim Singh Vs. Union of India, writ petition (Crl.) no. 310/2005) challenging the illegal arrests and detentions of more than 1000 Pakistan boys detained in different Indian jails. Nearly 800 boys have been released on this petition by the Honíble Supreme Court of India. This case can be viewed as Bhim Singh Vs. Union of India, Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 310/2005 from the website: supremecourtofindia.nic.in.
v). This is submitted before the Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan that corridors of justice may be opened by the Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan by appreciating the contents of this writ petition which may open doors of friendship, equity and justice for all citizens of India, Pakistan and the rest of the world.
vi). The Honíble Supreme Court of Pakistan may pass any other order it deems fit under the circumstances to ensure spread of peace and message of human dignity for all people.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
NEW DELHI, 14TH DECEMBER, 2017