The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the interior ministry on Tuesday to inform whether or not it can arrange a meeting of the families of the missing persons, who have been detained at the army internment centres and the Frontier Constabulary headquarters in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
A division bench, comprising Justices Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Shahnawaz Tariq, expressed its displeasure over the failure of the federal and K-P authorities to arrange such meetings despite orders in different cases.
The bench was hearing a number of petitions seeking the recovery of the missing persons, who, the federal authorities later disclosed, have been detained at the internment centres being run by the security forces in K-P.
The two judges noted that the court was informed previously that a missing person, Mir Ahmed, son of Jafar Syed, was confined at the Gilani Detention Centre in K-P."For one or the other reason, the standing counsels appearing in this case are seeking adjournment, but no positive report has been submitted so far," the judges observed.
During Tuesday's hearing, standing counsel Saeed Memon appearing for the federal government showed a letter communicated to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home secretary. But he failed to produce any letter he had addressed to the interior ministry and requested for time to look into the matter.
The bench directed him to come forward with the positive results and instructions at the next hearing as to whether or not the interior ministry can resolve this issue of arranging a meeting of the detainees kept in K-P. Adjourning the hearing till July 25, the bench also directed the standing counsel to call the relevant officer from the interior ministry.
Another petitioner, Khanzada Khan, also submitted that the authorities had failed to comply with the court directives issued on April 19 for a meeting with his relative detained at an internment centre in K-P. The bench directed him to write a letter to the interior ministry to confirm whether or not the detainee is detained at any centre in K-P.
While hearing another case, the judges noted that Saeedur Rehman, a relative of the petitioner Abdul Majeed, was detained at the Frontier Constabulary Headquarters in K-P. The bench once again directed the standing counsel to refer this matter to the ministry of interior.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2014.