Missing persons’ case: SC may form panel to visit internment centres in country

It could find out missing persons and judge the condition of inmates.

Mudassir Raja July 05, 2013
It could find out missing persons and judge the condition of inmates. PHOTO: FILE


A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja on Thursday hinted at constituting a commission of civil society members to visit different internment centres in the country to find out missing persons and assess the condition of the detainees.

The apex court was highly perturbed at the spy agencies’ lack of commitment and blatant disregard for the court’s orders. The families were denied meetings with the inmates despite the court’s order.

Justice Khawaja remarked that the court was waiting for the government’s response, which, if unsatisfactory, would compel the court to form its own commission to visit every internment centre. The new commission may include personalities such as Amina Masood Janjua, Chairperson Defence of Human Rights. Appreciating her efforts for the recovery of missing persons, Khawaja said she deserved a medal.

Moreover, Khawaja asked deputy attorney general for Pakistan to point out army officials who were not following the court or the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances’ (CIED) orders, so that the court may proceed against them. He added that simply denying custody of missing person was an unacceptable response from the intelligence agencies.

The court took up two cases of missing persons, Fazl-i- Rabbi and Gul Faqir, on Thursday. CIED informed the bench that the K-P police was ordered to file an FIR against the officials of spy agencies on June 27, 2013 but to no avail.

The court expressed concern over K-P law officer’s absence and asked the District Attorney General Ali Zai to take up the matter on Thursday evening in the meeting of all advocates general. DAG requested the bench to pass written orders, since the Defence Ministry demanded official court orders.

The court responded that they will not pass written orders and also asked the DAG to identify the army officials who were not implementing the court’s orders so they could be summoned to court. The court directed the DAG to discuss these matters with the relevant authorities and submit a report in this regard.

The court was adjourned till July 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2013.