The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the non-appointment of the head of the commission of missing persons, despite the court’s repeated warnings.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Shakirullah Jan resumed the case’s hearing after the retirement of Justice Javed Iqbal.
The court believed that the non-serious attitude of the government wasn’t a positive step towards the recovery of missing persons, adding that if spy agencies weren’t involved in their disappearances, they should submit a written statement in the court.
Additional Attorney General KK Agha told the three-judge bench that 134 out of 382 missing persons have been recovered, while 138 cases were being traced with the help of agencies.
Agha said that even though such cases were chronic in the country, efforts were under way to rid the nation of this disease. The ministry of defence had constituted a special committee to solve and prepare reports regarding these cases, he added.
In response to the court’s frustration over the nomination of the head of the commission, Agha assured the court that the head of the commission would be appointed within a week of the stipulated time.
Justice Jawad Khawaja expressed frustration over the lag in the appointment, saying it had been six months since Justice Fazlur Rehman was appointed as a member of the Election Commission, adding that the government had been negligent in not finding his replacement.
Agha replied saying the delay has partially been due to the interior secretary’s preoccupation in the Karachi situation.
He appealed to the court for a week’s time and said the ministry had finalised the appointment.
Commenting on the situation in Balochistan, Agha claimed that the court had been misled by the report as the numbers of missing persons in Balochistan were highly exaggerated. Justice Shakirullah Jan asked Agha to submit a written statement in this regard.
Chairperson Defence of Human Rights Pakistan Amna Masood Janjua claimed that around 400 persons had been recovered due to the SC’s stance, adding that the commission had failed to do anything productive in this regard for the last three months. She further added that the families of the victims had not been compensated as per the court’s order, adding that the number of missing persons was 228 and not 138, as stated by the additional
The hearing was adjourned until August 17 after KK Afgha assured the court that the appointment for the head of the commission would be made within a week.
Killed-and-dumped: Bullet-riddled body found in Hub
Another bullet-riddled body of a person previously considered to be missing was found dumped in the industrial town of Hub on Tuesday. Police took the body to a nearby hospital where he was identified as Amir Khan Marri.
“The body bore bullet wounds and multiple marks of torture,” sources at the hospital said.
Marri was whisked away a month ago along with other family members from Lasbela district. Two relatives’ bodies were earlier found dumped near Hub. Marri worked for a local factory in Hub. The police is investigating the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.