English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Islamabad HC demands report on PoJK writer Ahmed Farhad Shah’s abduction amid protests demanding his return

PoJK writer Ahmed Farhad Shah (Photo: ANI)

The Islamabad High Court on Monday heard a petition demanding the safe recovery of the missing writer and poet Ahmed Farhad Shah, filed by his wife Ain Naqvi, ARY News reported.

Hailing from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), the poet was allegedly abducted by the security forces from his home this week.

In the court hearing conducted by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Shah’s counsel stated, “We received a WhatsApp call on May 17 and were told to take back the petition, Ahmed Farhad will return home.”

In the hearing, Kayani raised the question of Shah being a terrorist. To which the SSP operations replied, “No, sir, he is not a terrorist.” The bench of judges hearing the case further asked, “If he has come from India or was involved in kidnapping for ransom,” the bench further asked. “No, sir, that’s not true,” SSP answered, according to the ARY News report.

The court further summoned a report from the secretary of defence. The bench also lambasted the other party, stating, “Contact the higher authority and submit a reply by 3:00 pm. I will pass the order in case of no reply by 3:00 pm.”

The bench, in its further comments, stated that “I want the person at any cost, don’t take the situation to the level that makes it hard for the institutions to exist,”, the same report mentioned.

In a separate incident, a protest was organised in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, by the general public, members of the Awami Action Committee (AAC), and students belonging to PoJK, demanding the release of Ahmed Farhad Shah. In the protest, scores of social activists demanded to know the whereabouts of the journalist and poet.

Notably, the protests in PoJK were called off following several days of turmoil after the Pakistan PM approved a grant for subsidies on flour and electricity prices in PoJK. However, several activists have raised concerns that people like Shah are facing a crackdown for highlighting the violence during the protests, which claimed the lives of at least three people and a police official.

The abduction of Ahmad Farhad has also drawn significant attention on social media. Activists have long claimed that anyone who highlights the situation or raises a voice for basic rights in Pakistan’s occupied territories, faces a crackdown by Pakistan’s army and its spy agencies.

During the protest, a female protestor questioned, “Under what allegation has Ahmed Farhad been picked up by defence forces, and how many more intellectuals will be abducted and tortured by you?”

“We will hold protests across parts of Kashmir, and overseas Kashmiris will also raise their voice for Ahmed Farhad. It should not be understood that we will keep quiet. He is a fearless poet, he just did not talk about PoJK or Pakistan, but he talked about global issues” the protester said.