Peshawar, Jan 14: Over three years after an Indian engineer went missing in Pakistan where he had gone to meet a girl he had befriended on the internet, authorities have admitted that he has been in army custody and facing a trial in military courts.
In a divisional bench of the Peshawar High Court, Deputy Attorney General Musarratullah presented a reply from the Ministry of Defence which stated that Nehal Hamid Ansari was being held by the army and would be tried by a military court, the Express Tribune reported.
However, the official did not provide details what charges had been brought against 28-year-old Indian.
On hearing this, the divisional bench disposed of the case. The case was heard for over 18 months before the government admitted that Ansari was being held in the country.
Ansari had travelled to Afghanistan for job prospects back in November 2012, Qazi Muhammad Anwar, counsel for Ansari's mother Fauzia, had told the court.
He had befriended a Kohat-based woman through social media and had crossed over into Pakistan from Afghanistan. He had been staying at a hotel in Kohat when police, assisted by the Intelligence Bureau officials, arrested him on November 12, 2012.
"The intelligence agencies arrested him from a hotel in Kohat and since then his family and friends have been unaware of his whereabouts," Anwar was quoted as saying by the paper.
He added that as per a police inquiry report Ansari was being held by intelligence agencies. After Ansari went missing, his mother had filed a complaint at a police station in Mumbai. She had also contacted the Afghan consulate in the city.
The petitioner subsequently sent an application to the human rights cell of the Supreme Court in Islamabad, which forwarded the case to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances in March 2014, the paper said.
In April, the commission directed the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs department to form a joint investigation team to trace Ansari.
An FIR was subsequently lodged at the city police station in Karak district in connection with Ansari's missing.