While politicians claim that there are 47 cases of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, relatives of 62 missing persons appeared before the Supreme Court bench here on Monday.
While hearing their pleas, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary asked the provincial government to submit a comprehensive report on the matter after consulting intelligence agencies and security forces.
The treasury bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Pervez and Justice Arif Khilji, was hearing a case on the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.
Home Secretary Nasebullah Bazai submitted a report on the initiatives taken by the Balochistan government to curtail lawlessness. But the report failed to satisfy the bench. “Police stations and checkpoints are increasing, but we do not see any improvement in law and order. Even the police are not safe,” the chief justice remarked.
Missing persons presented in court
The relatives of missing persons, mostly elderly women and men, appeared before the court and enlisted 62 names of missing people. The relatives accused the Frontier Corps (FC) and intelligence agencies for abducting their loved ones. “My son has been missing for three years,” a 70-year-old woman said, breaking into tears before the court.
Owing to the sensitivity of the matter, the chief justice said his court will focus on the missing persons issue during its hearing in Quetta. “If there is an administrative issue then the government should register cases against the accused. This practice of enforced disappearances and recovery of mutilated bodies is fueling hatred,” he said.
Another elderly woman appeared and said three people of her family were abducted from Killi Ismail on April 12 last year. She said she had lodged an FIR, but no progress was made.
The court directed the police to recover all three members of her family and bring them before the court. The court was also informed that a man, identified as Khaliq, and his son were whisked away a couple of days earlier.
The bench further directed the Deputy Commissioner and Tehsildar Baghabna to produce nine people who were abducted from Tutak area in Khuzdar district on February 18.
Sajid Tareen Advocate lodged an application in court stating that earlier three people, including the sons of local tribal elder Sardar Ahmed Ali Qalandarni, were whisked away from Tutak area. Tareeen said that a few days later over 24 people were whisked away from the same area. Nine people are still missing, while others were freed after remaining in captivity for a few days.
The court summoned Deputy Commissioner Khuzdar Tariqur Rehman and Tehsildar Baghbana and warned that if the nine men are not produced before the next date of hearing, the commissioner and tehsildar will be arrested.
Tehsildar Sardar Ali Ahmed Qalandrani, whose sons are also missing, was present in court but he refrained from spoeaking. “He will not say anything because there is hope that his sons may be recovered soon,” one of his relatives told The Express Tribune.
“The reality is surfacing and more relatives will appear if hearings are held in Quetta on a monthly basis,” Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Chairperson Nasurllah Baloch said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2012.
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