The courts, it seems, are facing a conundrum.
Missing people, after returning home, refuse to share information about their abductions and the Peshawar High Court (PHC) is irked.
Once again expressing frustration and discontent, the high court questioned why the missing persons refuse to assist the judiciary over pressing questions like who picked them and who released them.
“They cry here for the recovery of their missing relatives but once their missing relatives reach home, they sit quietly and refuse to assist the court,” said PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan while heading a divisional bench with Waqar Ahmad Seth during a case hearing of missing persons, on Thursday.
Counsel for petitioner Rashid Gul – whose sons Zinatullah and Abbas had gone missing – informed the court that Zinatullah had reached home upon which the chief justice culminated the case.
According to the petition, Kharmatu police allegedly picked up Zinatullah and Abbas, residents of Belli Tank Kohat, during a raid on October 6, 2011.
The petition said that police took them and later received a phone call from the security agencies asking them to detain the brothers for further inquiry.
Abbas was released on October 10, 2011, however, Zinatullah remained missing and reached home on Thursday.
In another case, the chief justice gave a deadline extension to Tank Legal Inspector Imtiaz Ali for submitting the final report inscribed with the whereabouts of Abdul Latif and Abdul Malik who went missing from Tank on July 17, 2009.
Amna Latif, the petitioner, a resident of Karachi, said she and her husband Abdul Latif went to visit their native district Tank to attend a wedding ceremony and alleged that security agencies picked up her husband along with her brother Abdul Malik. Tank Legal Inspector Ali informed the court that a joint investigation team had filed a preliminary report and the final report was in its concluding stages.
“Let the family members know whether their missing relatives are living or dead,” Justice Khan said.
He then ordered Tank police and the investigation team to trace out the whereabouts of the missing persons and submit the report on the next date.
“We will order registration of kidnapping cases against the accused parties,” warned Justice Khan.
Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Iqbal Mohmand, during another case hearing, informed a divisional bench comprising Justice Attaullah and Justice Fasiul Mulk that both Ministry of Interior and Defence have denied picking up Muhammada Gul, a resident of Mandani area of district Charsadda.
The petitioner, Muhammad Idrees, son of Muhammada Gul, alleged that his father and Muhammad Ismail were picked up by security forces on December 4, 2009 from Dargai area of Malakand Agency. However, Muhammad Ismail was released but Muhammada Gul was still missing.
The court directed the deputy attorney general to further probe the matter and find out if the missing person was shifted to an internment centre.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2012.
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