Raza Khan (C) with Ishtiaq Ahmad (L), renowned scholar on Indian and Pakistani history LAHORE/NEW DELHI: Volunteers from Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak friendship initiative, from both sides of the border expressed concern over Raza Khan’s abduction on Wednesday. They also said that allowing the respondent six days to submit the answer in a Habeas Corpus case could lead to unnecessary delays while the family of the missing person was highly concerned about his life and safety. Talking to Daily Times, Zeeba Hashmi, a volunteer, said that the court order was ‘very concerning’. She said that Aaghaz-e-Dosti expressed complete trust in Pakistan’s judiciary and urged the court to hear the case on urgent basis considering it a humanitarian cause. Also read: Raza Khan abduction case: Court demands answer from Naseerabad SHO “Even on December 19, the court has only called the SHO of Naseerabad Police Station, who is completely powerless in this case as we are now quite clear that Raza has been abducted by the security agencies”, she said. When asked that the petitioner had made the SHO a respondent and that the security agencies were not mentioned among the respondents, Zeeba said that the security agencies had been mentioned in the petition, though were not listed among the respondents. “Obviously we have to demand the answers from the state institutions. That is why the federal and provincial governments were nominated as respondents in the case”, she said. Responding to a question about the activities of “Aaghaz-e-Dosti”, Zeeba said that all the activities of the organisation were ‘strictly in the confines of the constitution of Pakistan’. “We are completely transparent, people from the security agencies also visited us and they never raised any concerns because everything we do here is completely legal”, she said. ‘Raza Khan was a convener at Aaghaz-e-Dosti, never headed it’ Zeeba categorically denied that Raza was heading the campaign. She said that the missing peace activist was just a convener between the members on both sides of the border. The most recent activity Raza undertook was organising a session of the Indian and Pakistani school students through a Skype call. “Our main concern is why was Raza being singled out? We did everything transparently. I want this impression about Raza to be dispelled that he is an Indian agent. He is first and foremost a nationalist. He just wants peace between India and Pakistan and was doing his bit for the same. There’s nothing wrong with speaking your mind out remaining within the legal confines”. She added that it was unfortunate that the enforced disappearances were becoming a routine now in Punjab as well. “We heard such things only from Balochistan in the past but now it has become quite common in Punjab too. Forget the rest of it; this should at least be condemned universally”, she said. ‘We’re shocked’ “It’s unfortunate. I can’t comment on the court order but I can comment on what I know. And it is that Raza was not doing anything wrong”, an active member of Aaghaz-e-Dosti from New Delhi Devika Mittal said. Talking to Daily Times, Devika said that the abduction of Raza Khan had come as a shock. “We’re shocked. What had he done to deserve this? He is an active member of the team and coordinates various campaigns between the Indian and Pakistani students”. “For example, when Gulshan-e-Iqbal tragedy took place in Lahore last year, many Indian students sent cards to Pakistan. Raza was coordinating only that. The last activity he did with us was a session between the Grade-IV students of Pakistan and India through video conference. The kids would discuss things as general as homework, food etc. It was a cultural exchange. What illegal could possibly happen here? He did it because he believed in it. Peace is ultimately the future of these two countries”. Also read: Amnesty Germany protests over forced disappearances in Pakistan Earlier today, Amnesty International’s Germany chapter also condemned the disappearance, calling for the Pakistani authorities to take the issue seriously. Amnesty added that over recent years, enforced disappearances – once limited to the restive parts of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces – have spread deep into Pakistan’s main urban centres. Earlier this year, in January, social media activists had disappeared from different parts of Punjab and the capital territory. Salman Hayder, Ahmad Waqass Goraya and Asim Saeed were later released and claimed that they had been abducted by the security agencies. Activists of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz were also arrested and ‘harassed’ by FIA officials in October.