IHC CJ remarks sufficient material has been shown to, prima facie; conclude that grievances of Baloch students enrolled in educational institutions are not groundless.

 

 

 

ISLAMABAD   -   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday summoned Senate Secretariat and   Ministry of Human Rights secretaries  to appear before the court in person for not convening a meeting of eleven-member commission , constituted on its directives to inquire and investigate into the grievances of Baloch students regarding ‘racial profiling’ and enforced disappearances.

In this regard, a single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice   Athar Minallah conducted hearing of a petition, seeking recovery of a missing person Hafeez Baloch, a student of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) and directed the secretaries to explain why a meeting of the Commission has not been held despite the importance of the matter and lapse of considerable time. The IHC bench also directed the Ministry of Interior secretary to submit a report before the next date fixed and explain why the grievances of the students of Balochistan have not been attended to, despite their meeting with the Minister for Interior.

Justice Athar noted in his written order that there cannot be a more serious and grave violation of the guaranteed fundamental rights when young citizens, belonging to a particular area of Pakistan have reasons to believe that they are being racially profiled and treated differently. He added that it is intolerable in a society governed under the Constitution to ignore such grave grievances.

The IHC chief justice directed Ministry of Defence secretary to submit a report regarding the progress of disciplinary proceedings against the official who had visited the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad to inquire about students belonging to the province of Balochistan.

He said that the deputy attorney general is expected to ensure that a report is submitted before the next date fixed.

Justice Athar said, “The grievances of the students, who belong to the province of Balochistan, are grave. The redressal of grievances of the students of Balochistan is a matter of paramount public importance. Article 25 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 declares all the citizens to be equal. The students of Balochistan must not have the slightest perception that they are being subjected to racial profiling or are being dealt with differently by the law enforcement agencies.”

“Racial profiling and treating citizens differently is one of the gravest violations of guaranteed fundamental rights. It offends Articles 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution. The State as defined under Article 7 of the Constitution and each organ described therein must proactively redress the grievances,” maintained the IHC CJ.

He added that during the proceedings before this court, sufficient material has been shown to, prima facie; conclude that the grievances of the students of Balochistan enrolled in the educational institutions are not groundless.