An appeal to Hon'ble the CJP Bandial and his Companion Judges of the Pakistan Supreme Court
Markandey Katju 12 Sep 2023

By Justice Markandey Katju, former Indian Supreme Court Judge, and Arifa Nadeem, a Pakistani attorney

Dear CJP Bandial and Hon'ble Judges of Pakistan SC.

We are appealing to you to take suo motu action to get Prof Zahoor Mashwani released by issuing a writ of habeas corpus. 
The details are given below.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s focal person on Social Media @MashwaniAzhar has described the ordeal of his family since his brother, Professor Zahoor Mashwani, was abducted. 

 Prof. Zahoor and his children are one of many being punished simply for being related to a member of the PTI. 
 A translated version of Azhar Mashwani’s tweet is below :
 '' On March 23rd, 2023, 1st of Ramadan, I was forcibly abducted and unlawfully detained for a period of 8 days. We registered an FIR (First Information Report) of my abduction, which, up to this day, has not been subjected to a proper investigation. 
 Similarly, on the night of May 9th, our residence, where I reside with my family, was subjected to three raids in my absence. During these incidents, my 73-year-old father and elder brother, Professor Zahoor Mashwani, were taken into custody by individuals attired in CTD uniforms and plain clothes. Fifth month has started and there has been no information regarding the whereabouts of my brother. 

It's important to note that Professor Zahoor Mashwani has dedicated his life to educating countless students and has maintained no involvement in any unlawful activity or political activism. This unjust situation has unfairly impacted his young children, wife, and my parents, all of whom have been enduring the agonizing wait for his return. In light of these distressing circumstances and in an attempt to alleviate the ongoing hardships faced by my family, I made the difficult decision to leave my home and loved ones. I have refrained from using social media for the past two months, and I have had to depart from my homeland, Pakistan. However, despite these sacrifices, my brother remains in captivity, and my parents have been presented with the heartbreaking demand to surrender one son for the release of the other. Throughout this trying period, the role of the judiciary has been profoundly disappointing. The four petitions filed by my father in the Lahore High Court were disposed-off, without any meaningful judgement, towards securing my brother's release, based on false statements provided by the police. From March until now, multiple reports submitted by various institutions to the High Court have affirmed that neither I nor any member of my family am named or wanted in any criminal case or investigation, and they do not acknowledge the custody of my brother. 

Everyone in Pakistan thinks that those involved in acts of vandalism and arson on May 9th, should be tried in accordance with the law. However, beyond these actions, there is no legal or moral justification for subjecting thousands of political workers and their families to physical and psychological torment, loss of life and property, and inhumane treatment. Our family is one that abides by the law, has consistently upheld the Constitution, and has been deeply intertwined with academia for many decades. Our loyalty to the soil of Pakistan has been unwavering, and it appears that this loyalty is the only reason for the suffering that every member of our household endures today ''.
Justice Katju's whatsapp number 91-9821181334

By Justice Markandey Katju, former Judge, Indian Supreme Court

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