14 Pakistani Gitmo prisoners return home

RAWALPINDI - As many as 14 Pakistani nationals, who had been languishing in Guantanamo Bay and Bagram prisons, have been brought back to Pakistan through a US C-130 plane that landed here at Noor Khan Airbase on Saturday, reliable sources revealed to The Nation.
All these Pakistanis were picked up soon after 9/11 incident and had been detained first at Guantanamo Bay and later they were shifted to Bagram jail in Afghanistan, the sources added.
According to the sources, a US C-130 airplane with 23 US troops, seven crewmembers and 14 Pakistanis landed at Noor Khan Airbase at 10:40 am.
All these Pakistani nationals had been swooped up by law enforcement agencies from different parts of Pakistan, the sources said added majority of the detainees belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while others were from Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.  The Pakistani authorities shifted all the detainees to an unknown location after conducting their detailed medical test at Noor Khan Airbase, the sources said. The US C-130 airplane flew back to Afghanistan at 12:15pm.
The prisoners who were shifted to Pakistan included Ahmed Khan, a resident of Torkham, Shah Fazal Karim, a resident of Karachi, Abdul Haleem (Mardan), Saif-ur-Rehman (Nowshera), Syed Muhammad (Shabqadar), Maza Allah (Lakki Marwat), Hafiz Ullah (Sibi), Abdullah (Kohat), Amanat Ullah (Jaranwala), Muhammad Amin (Nowshera), Muhammad Akram (Mohmand Agency), Noor-ul-Islam, Saif Ullah and Mustafa Almandi.
Reuters adds: Justice Project Pakistan has been representing several Bagram detainees since 2010 in a bid to force the Pakistani government to bring them home. So far no information has been provided by the Pakistani authorities about the whereabouts of the detainees, said Sarah Belal, a lawyer with Justice Project Pakistan.
One of the released detainees is 29-year-old Abdul Halim Saifullah, Belal said, citing information from the Red Cross.
She said he disappeared nine years ago from Karachi after dropping his father off at a hospital and has been detained in Bagram ever since. Including the group released on Saturday, 39 Pakistanis have been released from Bagram in the past 10 months. At least one Pakistani is thought to still be in prison there, although the exact numbers are unclear since no official list has been provided since 2012.
Sarah Belal, lead counsel for Justice Project Pakistan, said the government did not inform the families about the release and she feared the men may now be transferred to secret Pakistani prisons.
“We still don’t know about the whereabouts of the nine detainees released last month. The lack of clarity with today’s tranche gives us reason to fear that they too may be held incommunicado by the Pakistani authorities,” she said.

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