23 September 2020
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Sajid Mehmood, an IT professional, was picked up from his house in Islamabad’s F-10 on March 14, 2016. Since then, his father, wife, and three daughters have been waiting for him to return every single day.

remember that day like it was yesterday,” wrote one of his daughters in her
diary about the day he was picked up. “I can recount every single moment of the
most horrific day of my life like it just happened.” The 11-year-old heard a
knock on her door; a person entered the room and said “we need to search.”

house was ransacked. “The cupboards were flung open, things laid strewn around
and plainclothes men with masks and guns were everywhere. As I went past the
couch and looked over my shoulder, I saw two men – one with a gun – searching
through our toys,” she wrote.

a few minutes, the men had left. Her younger sister inquired about their father
after which her mother looked around the house and said “They took him.”

wrote, “I had heard about these disappearances. I
felt sorry for the families held in the strangest limbo, with the children not knowing if they are
orphaned or not, the wives not knowing if they are widowed or not, and the men themselves
having no idea why they were picked up in the first place. I sympathised from a distance. Then
it happened to us.”

Mahera Sajid even
approached the court seeking justice for her husband. In July 2018, the
Islamabad High Court passed a “landmark judgement” directing law enforcement
and intelligence agencies to produce the missing person, according to the
family lawyer’s Umer Gilani.

This was the first time
the court remarked that the Special Branch, Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services
Intelligence and Military Intelligence must promptly report all incidents of “enforced
disappearances” and trace them. It even ordered that Mehmood’s family should be
given a monthly compensation and fines were even imposed on PS Shalimar SHO,
IG, DC and retired three-star Lt Gen Zamirul Hassan Shah, the secretary of the defence division, for “neglecting
their duty” and not cooperating with the court.

The judgment in Mehmood’s case was recently cited by the high court in its order in the case of Sajid Gondal, according to Gilani.

Gondal, an official of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, reached home five days after he went missing but Mehmood’s family is still waiting.

Mahera Sajid even wrote a letter to
the PM in 2018 and then to the Shalimar ASI, but nothing became of it. IG Aamir
Zulfiqar Khan even met her for two minutes in 2019 but he was “oblivious” and “dismissive.”

She has now filed a contempt petition in the case as court orders have yet to be implemented. Muhammad Azam Khan, the principal secretary to PM, Islamabad IG Aamir Zulfiqar Khan, and Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Hamza Shafqat have been named as respondents.

Abdul Gh Lone