QUETTA - Terming missing persons matter the ‘biggest issue of the country’, Supreme Court has observed that elements of law-enforcement agencies who are violating the laws are as much enemy of the state as those who are challenging its writ.
A three member bench of apex court heading by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and including Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Azmat Saeed was hearing the case of law and order in Balochistan at Quetta Registry, here on Monday.
The court directed Inspector General Frontier Corps (IGFC) and Balochistan Police IG to come up with a comprehensive report about missing persons today (Tuesday), clearly suggesting the ways to ensure recovery of the missing persons, many of whom have been allegedly being kept in illegal confinement by the state agencies.
The bench expressed its anger at a report submitted by Additional Attorney General Shah Kawar on the implementation of previous court directives in the matter.
The chief justice observed that “provincial and federal governments had assured in writing on July 3rd, 2012 that the missing persons would be recovered but no progress has been made so far” despite specific court instructions regarding some sample cases.
The CJ said decomposed bodies were being recovered despite the assurance that steps would be taken to ensure that no more such bodies would be recovered. Assisting the court, Sajid Tareen advocate said that the recovery of decomposed bodies had increased, instead.
At this, the CJ remarked that there were many findings regarding missing persons against the government agencies and it appears that the provincial and federal governments were not serious about it. “If you cannot fulfill your commitments then you should give us in writing that you cannot implement court orders,” the bench told Additional Attorney General and Advocate General of Balochistan.
The CJ also said that if IGFC says he would not recover the missing persons then he should give this in writing and then the law would take its own course.
The IGFC told the court that he had assumed his charge few days ago and the issue of missing persons was serious one that required time for a comprehensive review. He however assured the court that if any FC personnel would be involved in any case of illegal detention, he would produce him in the court.
The CJ observed that they were cognizant that FC had rendered sacrifices for the people but in every other case FC was accused of picking up the people. “Will you want your officers to be chained and jailed? We do not want to go to this extent but our goal is to recover the missing persons,” he added. Justice Jawad observed, “Those who are challenging the writ of the state are not the only enemy of the state; rather, if the law-enforcement agencies violate the law, they too are enemy of the state.”
The CJ directed IGFC to submit a written reply and assure recovery of missing persons. The court directed Additional Attorney General to contact with IGFC and other agencies working in Balochistan and take effective measures for the recovery of the missing.
The bench also heard the suo moto case of killing of 13 passengers in Bolan and suicide blast at Quetta Police Lines. An unsatisfactory report was produced in the court by the Balochistan government. he CJ directed provincial government to show seriousness.
The bench was informed that all the accused involved in the killing of the passengers had been killed in police action.
Referring to suicide blast at police line, CCPO Quetta Mir Zubair Mehmood apprised the court that police had received important clues about the accused involved in the incident and soon progress would be made in the case.
The bench also heard the suo moto case of killing of granddaughter of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in Karachi. During the hearing Sindh police produced a report upon which the court expressed its dissatisfaction and remarked that despite lapse of one year no progress had been made in the case.
Adjourning the hearing, the court ordered IG Police Sindh to take review of this case personally and form a team of experienced police officers if wanted the police officers investigating the case could be included in the case.