For the first time ever since the issue of enforced disappearance surfaced, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government, upon proposal of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), prepared a charge sheet in ten criminal cases against detained persons.
Chief Justice (CJ) PHC Dost Muhammad Khan while heading the division bench with Justice Syed Sajjad Hassan Shah met with officials from the federal and provincial ministries, Frontier Corps and the provincial police.
Home and Tribal Affairs Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan informed the court that the proceedings of the missing persons’ cases would be started at the Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC).
Khan told the court that eight cases were being interrogated by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising representatives from the special branch of the Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI). He said that separate investigative teams were formed for each case.
During the proceedings he produced a list before the court which contained details of the persons shifted to internment centres along with those being de-radicalised at these centres.
Additionally, Frontier Corps (FC) Major Zafar Iqbal also produced a list containing details of 18 detained persons out of which 13 were shifted to different internment centres.
The division bench was informed that 194 persons had been shifted to the Lakki internment centre and that 132 detained persons were being de-radicalised.
Furthermore, the PHC directed the federal secretaries for defence and interior, to contact security agencies and field commanders and conduct a search on the whereabouts of the missing persons not mentioned in the lists produced before the court.
The court directed the secretaries to prepare a detailed record of the detained persons which must be supported by their signatures and a sworn affidavit.
During the proceedings, the PHC’s division bench criticised the provincial police on account of two missing persons’ cases. The court held the provincial police responsible for assisting intelligence agencies in conducting illegal raids and picking up people, despite clear orders from the chief secretary and K-P’s police chief that they are not to meddle with the intelligence agencies. The rest of the petitions which were not disposed of, were adjourned till August 16.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.
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