The Peshawar High Court said on Thursday that 30% of ‘missing’ persons are likely to remain with authorities, whereas the rest will be identified and set free.
“The matter has seriously been considered,” said the PHC chief justice while hearing the missing persons’ cases.
Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, who was heading the divisional bench with Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, said that the authorities have also been considering the court’s earlier suggestion to take over 15 ‘test cases’ of detained persons.
The chief justice said that the court wanted the terrorists to be tried and punished if found guilty but due process should be applied and the accused should be dealt with in accordance with the law and Constitution.
During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General Iqbal Mohmand informed the court that the interior and defence ministries denied picking up two brothers – Sufaid and Zahid, residents of Mardan – on January 21, 2010.
“They are lying. How long are we going to tolerate it? Things are going out of control,” Justice Dost Muhammad responded.
The brothers were arrested on December 29, 2010 under section 389 of the PPC. Zahid, who was later released, had informed his father that SHO Nihar Ali Khan had picked them up from the gate of the district jail, Mardan just after they were released. The court summoned SHO Nihar, as well as Zahid.
“Nihar should be urgently summoned to the court through all possible means and Zahid be produced before the court to identify him,” the chief justice ordered.
The defence and interior ministries also denied picking up one Shah Khan, a resident of Mandani who went missing in 2010. Justice Dost Muhammad ordered the registration of an FIR under sections 342, 365 and section 7 of the ATA at Mandani Police Station in Charsadda.
“We have conducted a survey and have come to know that the police and a few others have set up detention centres and do not want to disclose it,” the chief justice said.
Justice Dost Muhammad further directed the deputy attorney general to tell the Political Agents (PA) in Khyber and Mohmand Agencies that the court has received some negative reports about them, which are highly sensitive.
Meanwhile, one Muhammad Hussain, who was missing from the Bakhshi Pul area for 13 months, had returned home. A petition for his case was filed in the PHC by his uncle, Mohammad Din.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2012.