ISLAMABAD – In an interim order in the Balochistan law and order case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held Frontier Corps (FC) responsible for the disappearances in the province and ordered registration of cases against the agencies accused of being involved in the matter.
It directed the defence secretary, Balochistan chief secretary, home secretary, inspector general of police (IGP) and FC IG to take concrete measures for the recovery of missing persons at any cost.
In its interim order, the apex court stated that it was a responsibility of the government to protect life and property of people and ordered to recover the missing persons.
The order further said the helplessness of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) was against the expectations, while it had also been found that the agencies, especially FC, were involved in disappearances.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir submitted the report of a high-level committee on the issue of missing persons formed on the intervention of ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, noted that although, the committee had presented a report, but no practical steps were taken on the serious matter.
“It is the duty of the state to recover and produce the missing persons,” the chief justice said, adding, “As it is alleged that they are criminals and terrorists and involved in anti-state activities, they should be dealt with in accordance with law.
“It is the duty of all the agencies and the police to recover and produce the missing persons before the court on July 9,” the chief justice directed.
Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi, appearing before the court on a short notice, informed the bench that she would make all efforts for the recovery of disappeared persons, adding, “I submitted a report about the 93 missing persons at the Interior Ministry.”
The chief justice directed her to convene a meeting of the heads of all the agencies and discuss the matter. “Asked them to find out the missing persons and take action against them if they don’t,” he further said.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja stated: “This is not an impossible or very difficult exercise to trace out the disappeared persons but just have a heart and show courage. Mere claims would not be sufficient now and you have to prove your action.”
Balochistan Home Secretary Naseemullah Bazai said 381 bodies of the people killed in terrorist attacks and targeted killings had been found from various parts of the province till to-date. Out of them 102 bodies were found in 2010, 203 in 2011 and 76 in 2012.
He further said the Balochistan government had framed a policy to pay Rs 0.4 million as compensation to the relatives of a dead person and the district committees had been directed to complete the formalities on the subject.
Bu the chief justice noticed the amount was too little and directed the secretary to give at least Rs 1 million to the legal heirs of every victim within three days.
Provincial Home Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Zehri, who is allegedly involved in the kidnapping of two men, was directed to appear in person on the next date of hearing.
Justice Khawaja said Ayesha Bibi had claimed that her missing sons were in the custody of Zehri, adding that the poor woman requested the court to order Zehri to release them.
At this the court was informed that Zehri was on bail for the last eight years he is on bail. The judges, while expressing their annoyance, said how the provincial minister was granted bail when he was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of two persons. The chief justice ordered the registrar to get report from the session Judge, who granted bail to Zehri.
During the proceedings, the chief justice recalled that Duran Khan, the brother of a missing person, had alleged that the FC was involved in kidnaping his brother Abdul Malik. Therefore, the district and sessions judge Quetta was asked to probe the matter and submitted a report, which also stated that the involvement of FC could not be ruled out.
The bench noted that the Balochistan Police was also involved in arresting and releasing of missing persons, as observed in the disappearance of Naseer Ahmed and Akhtar Hussain, when the police not only recovered the missing persons but also their car parked at an abandoned place because of the constant pressure.
The home secretary complained that there was no check on issuance of SIMs by the mobile phone companies. He claimed that he bought 1435 activated SIMs from the open market, which was violation of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) law.
The mobile phone companies were directed to submit a report regarding issuance of SIMs to about its June 18 order. The chief justice said the PTA could take action against the companies it they failed to comply with the order.
The bench was told that Customs authorities had confiscated 150 unregistered vehicles and four motorcycles.
The case adjourned till July 9, when the hearing would be held at the Supreme Court Quetta Registry.
Updated at: 06 December 2013
Pak cricket team to spend the day practicing in Sharjah today SHARJAH: Pakistan cricket team arrived a day ahead of its one T20 match against Afghanistan and later series against Sri Lanka to spend the day (Friday) practicing at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Geo News reported
The national team’s T20 Captain, Mohammad Hafeez, who had stayed behind for some personal reason, also left for Dubai today.
The national team will play a one off match against Afghanistan with T20 format on 8th December (Sunday), while it will spend the day (Friday) practicing ...
Updated at: 06 December 2013
The wait is over: Pakistan Idol begins Friday KARACHI: The wait is finally over, as Pakistan Idol, the country’s biggest musical contest, is all set to begin from Friday night on Geo TV.
The first episode of the country’s biggest musical hunt will be telecast at 9 PM Friday.
The panel of judges will comprise renowned artists Ali Azmat, Hadiqa Kiyani and Bushra Ansari. ...
Nelson Mandela was indeed a great leader: Altaf LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Quaid, Altaf Hussain Friday, expressing his grief and sorrow over the demise of the founder of African National Congress, former president of South Africa and a great leader, Nelson Mandela, said that he was indeed a great leader, Geo News reported.
In a ... Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed being remembered today Lahore: Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed, who was awarded Pakistan’s highest
military decoration, is being remembered today (Friday) on his 23th martyrdom anniversary.
Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed was also an elder brother of chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.
Major General Sajjad Ali ... LB polls: electioneering ends in Balochistan, polling on Saturday QUETTA: Election campaign for local bodies elections ended at 12:00 midnight today and the polling will be held on Saturday.
All arrangements have been completed for LB elections 2013 scheduled to be held on Dec 07.
There are 3.2 million registered voters who would cast their votes for 4350 ... Imran says we do not want war with US ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak and other leaders including Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Sheeri Mazari on Thursday attended the reception hosted in honour of Nato ambassadors, Geo News reported.
According to sources, ... Courts to perform much better for rule of law after my retirement: CJ ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has expressed hope that after his retirement on December 11, the courts would perform much better for the rule of law and supremacy of constitution, Geo News reported.
The chief justice was addressing the participants of farewell dinner, hosted ...