SC reprimands police over missing Hazara persons

CJP Gulzar says authorities’ attitude make citizens lose trust in them


Our Correspondent October 01, 2021
PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court on Thursday reprimanded the Balochistan police, observing that the authorities’ attitude was responsible for the Hazara community losing their confidence in them.

A three-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, was hearing a suo motu case about targeted killings of the Hazara community members and a petition seeking the recovery of missing persons.

Balochistan IGP Mohammad Tahir Rai and the province’s advocate general appeared before the court.

The Balochistan police chief told the court that the four kidnapped members of the Hazara community had been rescued. The CJP inquired as to who had abducted them in the first place. “What have you [IGP] done? They have returned themselves,” he noted.

One of the recovered missing persons said that they were still facing the same problems. “Our accounts are frozen, we are not getting salaries and we are facing difficulties in obtaining identity cards,” he added.

Read HRCP, rights activists demand release of missing persons

The CJP asked the additional attorney general as to why the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was not cooperating with them.

He added that that the Hazara community members were not employees themselves but government workers were supposed to serve them instead.

The court was adjourned for a short period to the home secretary could be summoned and give an explanation.

When the proceedings began again, the wife of Ali Raza, a citizen who was forcibly disappeared from Quetta, appeared before the court and said her husband had been missing since 2013.

“The man suspected of kidnapping him was released by the police,” she added.

On this, an irked CJP told the Balochistan IGP that a man had been missing for eight years and the police had done nothing.

The Balochistan IGP replied that the case remained with Levies for three years after 2013. “The Levies are not a police institution,” he added.

The chief justice asked him as to what did the police do after they received the case. “Police have no interest in investigating. Do you know what investigation means?"

The Balochistan police chief told the judge that they were trying to rescue the missing person.

Read more Missing persons matter a serious one, observes SC

CJP Gulzar noted that the accused was the favourite child of the court and not the police. “Why are you wearing the uniform? You have no idea.”

The Balochistan advocate general told the court that if Ali Raza's family had cooperated with them, the investigation would have been completed.

The CJP told him citizens would cooperate with the police and other authorities if they trusted them. He added that evidence went missing in 48 hours. Justice Gulzar noted that police did not do the work assigned to them.

“It is this ‘business of injustice’ which has ‘brought the country to the brink of disaster’.”

The court directed that Ali Raza, who had been missing for the last eight years, be produced at the next hearing and the characters involved in his kidnapping be brought to light.

It also ordered that the people involved in the kidnapping of the four Hazara community members should be caught and strict action be taken against them under the law.

It also issued directions for addressing the difficulties faced by the Hazara community in obtaining passports.

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