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Pakistan's Chief Justice Demands Government Release Missing People

Pakistan's chief justice says there is overwhelming evidence that hundreds of people missing since the September 11 attacks are in government custody.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Tuesday urged the Pakistani government to release the people being held without charges. He made his remarks while hearing 40 petitions filed in the Supreme Court by relatives of missing persons.

Deputy Attorney General Naheeda Mahboob Elahi said the government is trying to locate the missing.

Human rights organizations say Pakistan's intelligence agencies have abducted and detained hundreds of people suspected of links to terrorism since the 2001 attacks. Activists say that among the missing are government critics, journalists and academics.

Chaudhry took up several cases of the missing shortly before President Pervez Musharraf suspended him in March for alleged abuse of power.

The Supreme Court reinstated the chief judge in July.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.