ISLAMABAD: Another missing person has reached home while three others have been found detained in different internment centres, the apex court has been informed. The total number of people whose whereabouts have been traced during the week stands at five.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court was informed that Attiqur Rehman, who had been missing for over 19 months, had reached home. He was allegedly picked up from Sheikhupura.
And on Thursday, Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar told the court that another missing man Khawar Mehmood had also reached home.
According to a Punjab police investigation report, Mr Mehmood was allegedly picked up by the personnel of intelligence agencies on June 26 last year from a distribution company in Fortabbas area of Bahawalnagar district.
The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI) had rejected the allegation and said he had never been in their custody.
His younger brother Amir Mehmood, an activist of Lashkar-e-Taiba, was earlier arrested by intelligence agencies, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Later the Peshawar High Court acquitted Amir and since then he and his wife have been missing.
Hafiz Mohammad Jameel – a Kashmiri who was picked up on Jan 20, 2011, from outside his home on Misriyal Road, Rawalpindi – and Hamad Amir, who was taken away on Nov 17, 2009, from his house in Westridge, have been found in the Kohat internment centre.
Similarly, Hidayat Shah, who went missing on Dec 21, 2009, has been found in the Malakand internment centre.
Meanwhile, a two-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Saqib Nisar took up on Thursday a case relating to disappearance of Dr Abid Sharif and Mansoor Mehndi.
It observed that the state must be benevolent towards its citizens, right from cradle to grave.
“We may not be an ideal welfare state but we must not leave citizens to run from pillar to post,” Justice Nisar observed.
Both Dr Sharif and Mehndi went missing after they reached Peshawar from Rawalpindi on Sept 16, 2005.
The court was shocked to learn that Zahida Sharif, wife of Dr Sharif, had received a notice from the Punjab health department (where her husband was working) in which the department cautioned that Dr Sharif should either resume his job in a week or face termination.
Ironically, the notice was issued after the Commission of Inquiry in Enforced Disappearances had directed the health department to settle the issue of his salary.
“The state should enforce the rule of strict liability that obligates it to locate the whereabouts of a person if he disappeared mysteriously,” Justice Nisar observed.
Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar told the court that both the Frontier Corps Peshawar and intelligence agencies had denied custody of the two missing persons.
At this Justice Ejaz Afzal, the other member of the bench, said officials of the intelligence agencies always denied having the custody of missing persons, but whenever the court insisted they produced them.
The court ordered the Punjab government to look into the issue of termination of Dr Sharif’s job. It asked Mr Khokhar to get fresh instructions from the authorities about the whereabouts of missing persons.
Another bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk was informed that two of the eight missing Baloch people — Mir Mohammad Baloch and Abdul Ghaffar — had been found at a Farari camp in Kohlu.
The whereabouts of the rest could not be traced.
Additional Attorney General Shahkhawar informed the court that the army authorities intended to try under the Army Act 1952 two officers for their involvement in enforced disappearances of Baloch people. One of the officers, Maj Moheen (Usama), is accused of abducting Shabbir Ahmed from Quetta.