ISLAMABAD: The displeased Supreme Court gave out a stern message to Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence on Thursday: “You need to take this out of your mind that you [ISI and MI] are superior and others [civilians] are inferior.”
Counsel of ISI and MI Raja Irshad was reprimanded as the apex court of the country remained unsatisfied with the replies submitted to the court today by the agencies in the Adiala missing prisoners’ case.
Headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the three-member bench said that the replies submitted to the court do not justify under which law the civilians were picked up by agencies and kept in detention for more than a year. “Who gave you the right to hound people?” questioned the chief justice.
“You are so insensitive to the human loss that the families of the missing persons have suffered lately because of you. This is a big allegation against you [ISI and MI] – there is a hue and cry throughout the country that you abduct people and after some days, their abandoned bodies surface,” said Chief Justice Chaudhry.
“After reading your poorly-drafted reply, I thought whether we are thinking against the country here? As much as you consider yourself loyal to this country, perhaps we are more loyal than you,” the chief justice observed. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said that the 1965 war is evidence that the people of the country were on the forefront rather than the army to fight against the enemy.
“If a judge is bound not to break a traffic signal, then why will he allow you to subvert the constitution of the country,” Justice Khilji said.
“You’re an arsonist. You have set Balochistan on fire,” said Chaudhry while referring to the agencies and the situation in Balochistan. “We ask you time and again and you always tell us stories. Are we here to listen to your stories?”
If these people had attacked GHQ, even then it is necessary for you to produce evidence against them for fair trial. You must go by the book,” Justice Chaudhry directed.
The chief justice said that the agencies have become “insensitive” to the issues and referred them as the “biggest violators” of the country’s law and order.
Irshad, in the agencies’ defense said that the authorities in the ISI and MI are considering this issue seriously as this is a burning issue of this country.
He said that the “foreign elements” involved in instilling terrorism in Balochistan are active and the agencies cannot work with their “eyes closed” to the issue. The chief justice remarked saying that whatever the agencies do should be done within the limits of law as the agencies are not “above the law”.
Irshad said that current parliament “does not represent the will of the people,” on which the Chief Justice Chaudhry differed and said, “It does represent the will of the people and has also brought the 20thamendment for solving issues. If you take them in confidence, they will facilitate you as well.”
The court, however, expressed satisfaction over the report submitted by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary about the health condition of the prisoners.
The report had a detailed summary about the prisoners’ health, improvement in their condition and how they are accommodated. The court said that its message should be conveyed to the chief secretary that the court was happy to see that all the questions sought in the previous hearing were answered in the report.
The court also said that the report gives hope that the remaining prisoners will brave their illnesses.
Tariq Asad, the lawyer of missing prisoners, was told by the court to avail the available remedies to release these prisoners.
The chief justice maintained that as the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kosar is well aware of the law, he would not create hindrances in the case, and added that the court will decide this case at any cost.
The hearing has been adjourned for 14 days.