SC tells govt to recover all missing people by 11th
* Apex court says illegal detention cases will otherwise be lodged against officials
* DAG says 15 more people recovered, 12 of whom freed and three facing charges
By Irfan Ghauri
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday told the government to recover all missing people by October 11, failing which the directors general of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and other agencies would be summoned.
The two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, directed secretaries of the Defence Ministry and Interior Ministry to inquire about the missing people from the heads of intelligence agencies and report back to the court by October 11.
Illegal detention cases: The court remarked that there was evidence that the missing people were in the custody of intelligence agencies and cases of illegal detention would be lodged against the officers responsible if they were not released.
The court reprimanded the defence secretary and interior secretary for trying to skip questions. Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah contented that provincial governments were responsible for finding the missing people, to which the CJ said, “Police say these people were not lifted by them and that they are in the custody of federal agencies. If the defence secretary says he cannot do anything, we will summon heads of the intelligence agencies. The uniformed generals of the ISI and the MI will be standing here.”
DAG says 12 people recovered: Naheeda Mehboob Illahi, the deputy attorney general (DAG), said 15 more people had been recovered, 12 of whom had been freed and three faced charges. She said the government was trying to find the remaining people and had arranged for medical treatment of Shahzain Bugti.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairwoman Asma Jehangir said the agencies had brutally tortured the missing people before releasing them, prompting the court to order medical treatment. She said there was concrete evidence that these people were in the custody of intelligence agencies.
The court said the government was not serious in tracing the missing people because there was evidence that Masood Janjua and Faisal Mirza were in the custody of intelligence agencies, which had released 110 people so far. Rasul then sought time to prepare a detailed report on the case in consultation with the heads of intelligence agencies. The court directed him to submit the report by October 11.
It also directed the interior secretary to consult with the police inspectors general and the home secretaries of all four provinces before submitting a report to this effect with the court.
Human rights organisations say more than 1,000 people are reported to have gone missing since 2001, NNI reported. Many of those released from custody have alleged that they were held by military intelligence agencies.
In many cases, relatives of the missing persons have claimed that they were told by the security agencies not to worry because their family members would soon be freed.