ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – September 9, 2022): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday adjourned the hearing of the missing persons case until November 14 and ordered the Ministry of Interior to create a cell on this subject.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the case regarding the disappearance of journalist Mudasir Naro and other citizens. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared in court while Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Federal Law and Justice Minister Azam Nazir Tarar and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah accompanied him also.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured the court to resolve the missing persons case and said he was responsible to the people of Pakistan and Almighty Allah.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Athar Minullah remarked that it was the responsibility of the state to repair the suffering of the families of the victims. The court had summoned the Prime Minister because it was a very serious matter and to be heard by this magistrate for several months.
The court noted that the state’s response to the case had not been consistent with its responsibility. The court said a chief executive ruled this country for nine years, he proudly admitted in his book that he sold citizens abroad. But if we are talking about a constitution, there cannot be a state within a state, he added.
Justice Minallah said the case had been referred to the federal cabinet and a cabinet committee had been formed. This case was not just about the formation of the committee, he said, adding that this court deemed it “appropriate for you to tell us what the real problem was.”
The court further said that the commission on missing persons had been created but that its work was very disappointing. The IHC Chief Justice said the disappearance of people was the greatest form of torture and the court had no choice but to ask the executive. “What should we do when the state has expressed ignorance about the origin of the disappearance of citizens,” he asked.
Addressing the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice said that you work for flood victims and have come to court understanding this issue. Enforced disappearances were a violation of the constitution, he said, adding that the national security of this country was in your hands.
He said there were many governance issues in the country, adding that the country’s problems would only be resolved when the constitution was fully restored. He pointed out that the civilians were under the control of the executive and that this court has confidence in you.
The Chief Justice said that when a little boy comes to court for the recovery of his father, then the court must find him liable. The same child also met the then prime minister, you should tell this court the solution, he said.
Who should be held responsible in the case of missing persons, asked the CJ IHC. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said it was his duty to appear in court. He said the UN Secretary General was in Pakistan and I had a meeting with him, but when I got the court order I said I would go to court.
Shehbaz Sharif said the missing journalist’s son asked the court to bring him (child) to meet his father. This sentence from the child was very disturbing to me, he added. The Prime Minister said that I would not miss any opportunity and assured you that I would meet the missing people with their families.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that I will spare no effort to resolve the case of the missing persons. I am accountable to the people and to Allah Almighty, he said, adding that I have been to jail twice in the past four years and my family has also suffered pain.
He indicated that the committee formed on this issue had met six times, adding that he would submit the report of each to the court. The report would not be a story but would be based on facts, he said.
The prime minister said implementing court orders was his primary responsibility. He said he visited flood-affected areas and met with victims. It was his primary duty and responsibility to listen to them and try to solve their problem.
He said the issue of missing persons has been around for almost 20 years. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that I assured this court that in accordance with my domain, I would fulfill my duty. He said he formed a committee in this regard after becoming prime minister. Committee members met with families of missing persons in different regions.
He said he would submit the committee’s report to this court every month. He said he had also served as the chief minister of Punjab province. I am a very simple person and being a human being, I tried to serve my nation, he added.
The Prime Minister said he could understand where these affected families were coming from and he could also understand their pain and suffering.
He said he would consider the matter personally and with the will of Allah no one would be left missing anymore. The court would notice our attitude in missing persons cases, the prime minister said.
During the hearing, Federal Law and Justice Minister Azam Nazir Tarar told the court that it was a 21-year-old problem and he could not claim he could. be solved in ten days. But work was definitely underway, he said.
IHC Chief Justice said it was shocking to the court when Amina Masood Janjua told him about the performance of the Missing Person Inquiry Commission. He said that this court was affected because the constitution was affected.
It must be ensured that no one comes to court and complains about someone’s disappearance, the IHC Chief Justice said, adding that to take this matter to parliament and introduce legislations. The court said other countries, including India, had already legislated on the matter.
The court said that if this issue is not resolved, it will hold the executive responsible. Later, the court adjourned the hearing on the case until November 14, at the request of the ordained Minister of Justice.