Both the federal and provincial governments have been directed by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to ensure all reports regarding missing persons as well as relevant government officials are present at all hearings.
The orders were issued on Wednesday when a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain was hearing 12 petitions filed by families of missing men.
The federal and provincial governments were represented by Deputy Attorney General Manzoor Khalil and Deputy Advocate General Waqar Ahmad Khan, respectively.
During the hearing, petitioner Hasina Bibi told the court that her son Sher Mohammad was picked up from Frontier Region Kohat on June 8, 2012, and the assistant political agent kept him in jail for a few days.
She further alleged that Sher was handed over to the army on June 19 and since then his whereabouts have been unknown.
The bench issued instructions to governments’ counsels that a detailed progress report of Sher’s case should be produced at the next hearing.
Another petition filed by Zarmina Jana stated her son Amanullah was picked up on August 20, 2011 from Orakzai Agency and is currently detained at an internment centre in Lakki Marwat.
The PHC bench issued orders that Amanullah’s family be allowed to visit him at the centre as per the Action (in aid of civil power) Regulations 2011. A comprehensive report of Amanullah’s case was also sought.
The PHC judges told counsels Manzoor Khalil and Waqar Khan they must summon the relevant officials whenever they are required.
Reports were also sought for the rest of the petitions and 15-day deadline was given by the bench. The bench said the cases were of immense importance and there should be no delay.
On April 9, the court issued a second order to General Headquarters to submit the enquiry report of the killing of a missing person.
Abdul Samad was killed while he was allegedly escaping from the custody of security forces in October 2011 in cantonment area of Peshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2014.
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