PM should leave office if can’t perform his duties, says IHC

Again summons Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Feb 28 in missing Baloch students case

ISLAMABAD   -  As Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaa­rul Haq Kakar failed to appear before the court, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday again summoned him to appear before it in person in a pe­tition seeking recovery of missing Baloch students.

IHC single bench comprising Jus­tice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conduct­ed hearing of the case related to the implementation of the recommenda­tions of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances and a petition seeking recovery of missing Baloch students. During the hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan Man­soor Usman Awan appeared before the IHC and the judge asked about PM Kakar’s appearance before the court. The AGP replied that the prime minister was in Karachi.

When the IHC bench asked about the appearance of the defence and interior ministers, Awan said that the two were also busy. The inte­rior ministry’s secretary then appeared before the court, at which Justice Kayani asked why the defence ministry’s secretary was absent.

Justice Kayani said that the petition was filed in 2022 and a commission had been formed. It took two years to recover cit­izens who did not even have any criminal case registered against them.

Addressing AGP Awan, he said that he had submitted an affi­davit that no person would go missing in future. [Yet] a person is missing from Islamabad’s F-6 without a first information re­port against him.

The IHC judge said that the purpose of summoning the prime minister was to inquire why the state’s premier was failing to perform his duties. He added, “We have charges against our institutions regard­ing enforced disappearances. If the prime minister, defence minister and secretary, and the interior minister and secretary cannot perform their duties then they should leave their posts.”

AGP Awan requested that the incoming government would re­view the matter instead of the caretaker setup. He added that “when the elected government comes into power, it will look at the matter afresh.”

At this, the judge said there was one government for three-and-a-half years, then anoth­er for 16 months, and then the caretakers but nothing came out of it. There are direct allegations against institutions here.

He pointed that he would con­stitute a committee comprising heads of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), MI (Military Intel­ligence) and the IB (Intelligence Bureau). The AGP again urged the court to adjourn the matter till the elected government as­sumes responsibilities.

During the hearing, PTI lead­er Sher Afzal Marwat also ap­peared before the court and said that a day ago, the Islamabad po­lice and [state] institutions con­ducted a raid at his house.

He asserted that he was pres­ent at the house and his chil­dren were present yet the doors of his house were bro­ken down. The Islamabad po­lice were the biggest criminals. The PTI lawyer further alleged that his house was raided with­out a warrant. 

The IHC bench issued direc­tives to the interior secretary to summon the Islamabad police chief and the head of the Count­er Terrorism Department (CTD) at the next hearing.

He added that it was a matter of shame that all this is happen­ing with a lawyer and an MNA-elect. They were not talking about Lakki Marwat but about Islamabad’s F-8.

Awan requested the court to give him time till the last week of March.

In her arguments, human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari said that a few people were recov­ered but then in February, peo­ple went missing again.”

She recalled that even though the AGP had submitted an af­fidavit in the Supreme Court, people went missing in Ba­lochistan. “The policy of forced disappearances is now of the state,” she added.

Marwat alleged that in abduc­tion cases in Islamabad, the Is­lamabad police themselves were involved. He stated that 36 cas­es were filed against him for be­ing affiliated with the PTI and he was on bail in all cases yet there was a raid last night.

Justice Kayani warned that if any person was abducted from within the premises of the IHC, the interior secretary, Islamabad IG and the CTD incharge would be responsible for it.

The court ordered AGP Awan to submit a list of the missing who had allegedly gone miss­ing recently. Justice Kayani said that he would issue an order for constituting a three-mem­ber committee of the director generals of the country’s intel­ligence agencies.

Later, the IHC bench again summoned PM Kakar and the secretary interior and secretary defence to appear before the court on the next hearing and deferred the case till February 28 for further proceedings.

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