‘Missing’ persons case: PHC orders release of white category militants

Asks officials to identify detainees in tribal areas.

Umer Farooq May 17, 2012


The Peshawar High Court informed relatives of ‘missing’ persons on Wednesday that those detained in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) will be identified soon and their details will be submitted to the court within one week.

Around 100 relatives of missing persons, lawyers and members of human rights commission were present during the hearing.

PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, heading the divisional bench with Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, was informed by Fata Additional Chief Secretary Dr Tashfain that a list of all those detained in tribal areas will be prepared, a copy of which will be given to the court.

“We can go beyond our frontiers if you are unable to lay hands on those people (abductors). We are under constitutional obligation to set them (detainees) free,” the PHC CJ remarked.

The court directed the Judge advocate general to release white category militants (suspects with no charges against them) within 15 days and also directed the provincial police to refuse assistance to security agencies in picking up people. Judge Advocate General Branch General Headquarters Rawalpindi Brigadier Nobahar told the court that the number of missing persons has sharply decreased and people were being shifted to internment centres.

“Those innocent are being released once they are de-radicalised and only the black and grey category militants are shifted to internment centres, subject to information by the police and joint investigation teams,” Nobahar said.

Secretary Home and Tribal Affairs Department Muhammad Azam Khan informed the court that around 1,039 detained persons were so far released after they went through the de-radicalisation process in different internment centres.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Amina Masood Janjua, wife of Masood Janjua, who has been missing for seven years, expressed satisfaction over the efforts of the PHC for tackling the issue of missing persons. “I have more hope now than ever before.” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2012.


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