Islamabad High Court (IHC) has given last chance to the state for recovery of missing persons remarking if tangible steps are not taken till September 9 then Prime Minister (PM) will be summoned.
The court further remarked state should recover all missing persons. The affectees be satisfied. The Chief Executive action against the responsible persons should be visible.
A single bench of IHC led by Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah took up for hearing the missing persons case on Monday.
The lawyers Inam ul Rahim and Emman Mazari appeared on behalf of missing persons while Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Arshid Mehmood Kiani also appeared in the court.
The CJ IHC inquired at the inception of hearing all these agencies are under whose control. Who is responsible.
DAG told the court these agencies are working under the control of federal government. Interior minister is in the meeting of federal cabinet. We request the court to adjourn the hearing.
The CJ IHC remarked there will be no adjournment. Give arguments on the case or we will issue summon to PM.
DAG told the court report has been filed on behalf of the federation. Cabinet meeting is going to be held just now at 10.30. Attorney General (AG) is in hospital. He has requested the case be adjourned after Eid.
The CJ IHC remarked this court should do what. Should it issue summon to chief executive. To whom two forums declared enforced disappearance then what happened. ISI and other institutions are included in JIT. This is case of enforced disappearance. This is very clear there is no active role of either previous government or sitting government in the matter of missing persons. This court will proceed only as per constitution. We have to protect the fundamental rights. The basic responsibility lies with the federal government and chief executive.
DAG told the court I assure that the cabinet committee will see all these issues. We admit it is not being done in these cases the way they should be dealt with. Interior ministry has written to cabinet division to ask the former chief executives to file affidavits.
He further said we realize it. Give some time to incumbent government.
The court remarked had you realized it then the affectees would not have come to the court. You should have traced them. In whose tenure the people went missing are responsible. This court was seeing the state response. State response is not what it should have been. No more time can be given now.
The CJ IHC called amicus curie Farhat Ullah Babar on rostrum and inquired about missing persons.
Farhat Ullah Babar told the court chairman missing persons commission said on record that some cases are matter of armed forces. In July 2019, ISPR said all missing persons are not with them. ISPR said some people are with them.
The court remarked you all are telling known facts. Parliament did what.
Farhat Ullah Babar told the court the problem is this ISI is not under any legislation.
The court remarked “ don’t say this. ISI is direct under PM. Parliament should not shift its responsibility this way. You are saying there is state within state.
Farhat Ullah Babar told the court “yes exactly it is so. There is state within state.
The court remarked “ then let chief executive say so in the court. Can parliament take this stance that it is helpless. Parliament has powers. All talk but no one does any thing practically. The highly revered parliamentarians are saying to the court constitution is not workable.
Farhat Ullah Babar told the court there is state within state. Courts decisions are not accepted.
The CJ remarked court has mentioned in the order satisfy us this is not policy of the state. I think it is responsibility of all including parliament and judiciary. The people who were lifted from Islamabad in 2016 then who was interior minister.
The counsel for missing persons told the court “ either he was Ahsan Iqbal or perhaps Chaudhry Nisar himself was interior minister.
The court inquired “ Farhat Ullah Babar you belong to which party.
He told the court I represent PPP.
The court remarked had you been in the government then the people may have been lifted this way.
Farhat Ullah Babar told the court missing persons commission was constituted in our tenure.
The court remarked that commission was constituted under the orders of court.
The amicus curie Abid Saqi told the court PM should also be summoned after interior minister. In the past the court had disqualified the PM for not complying with the orders of the court. If the PM does not comply with the orders on this matter then history will be written in separate way.
DAG told the court we have no personal enmity with the persons who have gone missing. This is matter of security of 220 million people. We have to see it. This court has always encouraged strengthening civilian control. Tell us what should we do on this matter.
Farhat Ullah Babar while supporting the plea for summoning PM too said “summon the PM then many thing will come before us. Persons below chief executive have been summoned umpteen time but of no avail.
The court inquired from deputy secretary interior “ you should tell us which agencies are working under you.
He told the court FIA, Rangers, and Islamabad police are working under us.
Deputy secretary interior told the court FC is also working under us.
The court remarked then you are responsible for all this matter.
Deputy secretary told the court we obtain report from FC and present it before the court.
The CJ IHC remarked don’t talk of such formal things before the court. If some one does not accept the order then the proceedings of misconduct can be initiated against him. If an armed person does not accept the order then he can be court martialled.
The CJ remarked last chance has been given to the state in connection with recovery of missing persons saying we will summon PM in the court if no steps are taken.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case till September 09.