The year 2011 will see the recovery of all missing persons, Justice Javed Iqbal remarked on Monday during the course of hearing of missing persons’ case.
The court has asked for the government’s response on the Judicial Commission’s report constituted by the Supreme Court for the recovery of missing persons.
Additional Attorney General for Pakistan KK Agha appeared before the three-member bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal and presented the report.
“Pakistan is not a Banana Republic where people may do whatever they like. Those responsible for the prisoners’ disappearance must be dealt with an iron hand,” Agha requested the court.
More than a hundred people have been picked up by the agencies since April 2010 till date, Amina Masud Janjua informed the bench. The number of missing persons has gone up to 281. Agha clarified that 134 people have also been recovered during this period.
Amina further submitted before the bench that the judicial commission is powerless and the Supreme Court itself should conduct the hearing of cases of missing persons.
From the next hearing onwards, three days a week the missing persons’ case would be heard and on every hearing five cases of missing persons would be taken up, head of the bench Justice Javed assured Amina.
He also emphasised the need of a permanent tribunal as per the commission’s report for hearing cases of missing persons on a regular basis.
Justice Javed also directed Agha to inform the court on next hearing about steps taken by the government against those responsible for people’s disappearances.
“Secretary Interior, Chief Secretaries and Inspector Generals of police should also inform the court what steps they have taken in light of the Judicial Commission’s report,” Justice Javed directed.
The way Supreme Court recovered 11 missing people from Adyala Jail, the other people would also be traced the same way.
Everyone is aware with the Balochistan situation therefore these cases cannot linger on further and the court would do its best for the good results, he remarked.
“2011 would be the year of recovery of all missing persons,” Justice Javed said adding “what the judicial commission has suggested in its report for legislation to control spy agencies, it must be implemented”.
Advocate Hashmat Habib informed the bench that few families of missing persons are hesitating to appear before the court.
Justice Raja Fayyaz remarked “They are scared, that’s why they are avoiding”.
Hashmat further said that few people were made disappear by the state upon which Justice Javed remarked that the responsible will have to go behind the bars.
Agha requested the bench for not making the report of Judicial commission, public, which the bench accepted and adjourned the hearing of the case till next Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2011.
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