ISLAMABAD - Faced with the Supreme Court’s displeasure for showing disregard in complying with the court’s directives on producing missing persons unlawfully picked by the military-led intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has indicated to file review petition on the SC’s related judgement
Issuing a landmark decision on the missing persons issue, the SC on Tuesday ordered action against those government officials who were responsible for the missing persons saga. The court has expressed categorical annoyance and displeasure over the role of the MoD, secretary defence, Pakistan Army, General Headquarters (GHQ), Frontier Corps (FC), inspector general FC, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Military Intelligence (MI) in this regard.
In a statement issued after the SC decision, the defence ministry said, “Referring to SC’s decision in 35 missing persons case and our position that they are not held with Pakistan Army or our agencies, it is stated that we are waiting for the final decision of the honourable court so as to be able to analyse it after which we might go for review petition, which is our legal right. We might request the honourable court again for the constitution of a fact-finding commission to ascertain reality,” said a statement emailed to media by the office of Additional Secretary (Army) at the MoD Major General (r) Arif Nazir Raja on Tuesday afternoon.
In course of the related case’s proceedings, the outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has observed that it now stands established that the 35 missing persons were unlawfully picked and detained by Pakistan Army and the way the military has defied the apex court orders, it appears that the armed force and its intelligence agencies do not respect the court’s orders.
The SC has ordered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to play his role for bringing an end to the practice of forced disappearances and make sure that no forced disappearances take place in the future. Observing that the intelligence agencies including ISI, MI and Intelligence Bureau (IB) have no powers to abduct the civilians, the SC has ordered the PM, chief ministers and governors to play their role for the recovery of missing persons and present them before the court within seven days, besides taking action against those responsible. The court has already served notice on IG FC Maj-Gen Ijaz Shahid for not complying with the SC orders. The SC’s milestone judgement is widely lauded by the political circles, civil society, media and almost all the cross-sections of the society with the exception of the military establishment and certain segments in the federal government.