KARACHI: As many as 13 out of 25 missing persons have been traced and reported back to their homes, it was revealed in a report submitted by the police and Rangers to the Sindh High Court in the missing persons case on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the SHC directed the police and Rangers to take necessary steps to recover the remaining missing persons and submit a progress report by October 10.
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Those who have returned home include Ilyas, Zahid and Arif from Korangi, Munawar Ali from Baghdadi, Muhammad, Asadullah and Muhammad Nasir from Nazimabad and others.
The court had admonished the police and law enforcement agencies at an earlier hearing over the non-recovery of missing citizens. It expressed satisfaction over the return of missing persons.
Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto remarked that nobody knows how he feels when the relatives ones of missing persons leave the courtroom disappointed. The families of the missing persons were also present in court.
One family shared that their loved one, Shamshad Ali, was missing since 2014 with seven Joint Investigation Teams already formed for his recovery, which have yet to yield results.
Other families said their loved ones were missing for years and they were exhausted from visiting courts time and again. They said all they wanted to know was if their loved ones were dead or alive so they could get closure.
Another missing person, Sheikh Muhammad Kaleem's father told the court that his son was missing since 2016. He asked what he should prioritise - his ailing health or continuous appearances in courts. Before tearing up, he added that his son was his only hope.
Justice Phulpoto inquired when the police would recover the missing people. The judge asked what they were supposed to tell family members who attend every hearing.
The JITs have also yielded no results, he said.
The court directed the law enforcers to provide positive results within a month and adjourned the hearing.
Illegal land utilisation
Meanwhile, the SHC has summoned the advocate-general and land utilisation secretary over the construction of a housing scheme on land adjacent to a graveyard. The SHC chief justice questioned how bodies were being buried if there was lack of space in the graveyards of the city.
A two member bench, headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh and Justice Umar Siyal, heard the bail pleas of Ali Ahmed, Anwar Maulai and several other suspects booked in an extortion case.
The counsel of the petitioner maintained that a forged case was made against his client, saying that constructions were being done on land adjacent to Pir Baba Qabaristan in Shah Latif Town and his client was accused of collecting extortion.
The SHC CJ expressed displeasure over the construction of a housing scheme on land adjacent to a graveyard. He asked how a housing scheme is under construction on graveyard land.
He remarked that the National Accountability Bureau authorities should be called so the matter could be handed over to them. He further demanded the counsel to prove that the plaintiff was the owner of the land.
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Justice Sheikh said occupying graveyards is still a practice in the metropolis. Housing schemes are being constructed on several Malir farmhouse lands, he said.
The court summoned the advocate-general and land utilisation secretary and adjourned the hearing till September 26.
For the fishermen
The SHC approved a request moved to make Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) a party in a matter relating to the livelihood of thousands of fishermen.
A two-member bench held the hearing. The petitioner, Abdul Sattar Hakim's counsel maintained that over 400 fishermen reside in Rehri Goth and Chashma Goth. The construction of a bridge by the PIBT has halted the movement of the fishermen to the sea. Now, the fishermen have to cover an additional eight hours of distance. The increased time span and journey is affecting the livelihood of the fishermen.
The petitioner maintained that it is an important matter, hence the PIBT, including Port Qasim, should be made party in the matter.
The court, directing to make PIBT terminal a party in the case, adjourned the hearing until September 25.