Dawn News

March, 27 2015
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Supreme Court of Pakistan
The Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top judges have declared that law enforcement authorities were involved in enforced disappearances in Balochistan, ordering agencies to produce the remaining 'missing persons' in the next hearing, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawad S. Khwaja, was hearing the petition filed by the Balochistan Bar Association on the law and order situation in Pakistan’s largest province.

In its short order on Wednesday,  the SC said that disappearances should be immediately stopped and action be taken against the culprits involved.

Moreover, the court also ordered the agencies to act on the SC's directives and produce the remaining 'missing persons' in court during the next hearing. Individuals involved in anti-state activities should be formally arrested, added the court's orders.

The SC also ordered the administration to draft a policy for compensating families of the victims of enforced disappearances and human rights violations in Balochistan.

Moreover, the bench handed the responsibility of ensuring that the court’s orders are implemented to the Defence Secretary, Nargis Sethi, who was asked to appear before the court today.

Earlier, Attorney General Irfan Qadir presented to the bench the report of a high-powered commission on Balochistan.

According to the report, cases of 43 missing persons were with the commission.

The report moreover stated that 118 people were missing out of which names of 29 persons had been added twice.

The report also said that bodies of nine missing persons had been recovered whereas 16 of the missing had been recovered alive.

It also said that about 17 people, there were only allegations of them having been missing. The report moreover said that there were a number of elements who were trying to benefit from the situation in Balochistan.

A joint probe team was also constituted to recover the missing however no developments could take place on that front, it said.

The court objected to the formation of the high-powered commission upon which the attorney general said that the commission was constituted by the federal government on the directives of the Supreme Court and that its report had been prepared by IG Punjab.

“How could someone who was not posted in Balochistan prepare a report on it?” Justice Khawaja remarked.

Moreover, Chief Justice Iftikhar remarked: “Balochistan police could not enter the cantonment areas without a permit…who would cooperate with a probe commission with no powers?”

The hearing was subsequently adjourned until July 9, 2012 to be held at the Supreme Court’s Quetta registry.


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