Shireen Mazari, interior secy summoned in missing journalist case

IHC dissatisfied with AGP over not confirming date on which PM, his cabinet is to meet affected family


Our Correspondent November 29, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) summoned on Monday Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari and the interior secretary in person on December 1 in the case of a missing journalist and blogger.

The high court's orders came while hearing a plea seeking recovery of missing journalist and blogger Mudassar Naaru.

Additional Attorney General Qasim Wadud, Deputy Attorney General Syed Tayyab Shah and counsel Iman Mazari appeared before the court on behalf of the petitioner.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah expressed annoyance after the additional attorney general could not confirm to the court the date the prime minister and his cabinet would meet the affected family.

"If the son of an influential person had gone missing, the reaction of the state would have been different," the judge remarked.

The court only ordered the prime minister and the cabinet to meet with the affected family, the court added.

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"If a citizen goes missing, it is a very serious crime," the judge said. "It is unfair that the affected families have to go to the commission."

The court adjourned further proceedings of the case till December 1.

Four days ago, the IHC ruled that the state and its functionaries have to discharge an onerous burden to satisfy the loved ones, particularly the dependents of the victim that it is not a case of “enforced disappearance”.

The court also held that the phenomenon of “enforced disappearances” definitely constitutes a grave crime against humanity.

"The track record of the state and its functionaries regarding enforced disappearances has not been flattering nor encouraging. It is on account of such a track record that the state and its functionaries have to discharge an onerous burden to satisfy the loved ones, particularly the dependents of the victim that it is not a case of ‘enforced disappearance’,” read a five-page order authored by Justice Minallah in a matter regarding enforced disappearance of journalist and poet Mudassar Mahmood alias Naaru said.

He is missing since August 20, 2018.

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