Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN | Feb 25, 2014, 05.09 AM IST
On Monday, the Supreme Court could offer little succour to Ansari’s mother Fauzia, who had moved the court seeking a direction to the Centre to pursue the case of her son with the Pakistani government after he vanished in Taliban territory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Hamid was last traced to Pakistan’s Kohat region where he stayed with a journalist working for an Urdu daily after crossing the border around November 10. Indian high commission officials in Pakistan have been unable to trace him thereafter.
After the young man virtually vanished into thin air, his relatives discovered from Facebook posts that he had used the ruse of a job interview in Kabul for a pre-planned journey to meet the girl whom he had met and wooed on the social networking site.
Fauzia’s worries grew as she learnt that Kohat was not too far from Taliban-dominated Waziristan area. She moved the Supreme Court in November 2013 for a direction to the Union government to trace her son and ensure his safe return to India.
She had complained to a bench of Justices Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose that her letters to the Pakistani government had gone unacknowledged and the stock reply of the Indian high commission was that they were trying to elicit information on Hamid’s whereabouts from Islamabad.
She was worried that like many Indians who had crossed into Pakistan without valid papers, Hamid could have been arrested and lodged in a prison by the authorities there. The stories about inhuman treatment meted out to Indian prisoners were reflected in her nervous petition.
The bench ordered that a copy of Fauzia’s petition be served on additional solicitor general Indira Jaising, who in turn informed the court on the last two occasions that the Indian government was trying its best through diplomatic channels to elicit information about Hamid’s whereabouts in Pakistan.
On Monday, advocate Abhinav Mukherjee told the bench of Prasad and Ghose that Hamid had gone through Rotary Club for a cultural exchange programme in Afghanistan on November 4, 2012. He allegedly crossed over to Pakistan’s Kohat region on November 10 through an illegal route and stayed there with a friend, a journalist with Urdu daily ‘Dastak’.
The journalist confirmed to the Indian high commission that Hamid indeed stayed with him for two days and had talked about his friendship with the girl in Kohat. It also transpired that Pakistani security agencies reportedly apprehended Hamid, but the trail went cold thereafter.
Satisfied with the government’s prolonged efforts to trace Hamid, the bench disposed of Fauzia’s petition to send back the mother empty-handed. The bench said given the facts and circumstances of the case, there was little the government and even less the court could do.