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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday noted that the phenomenon of “enforced disappearances” definitely constitutes a grave crime against humanity. A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the directions, while hearing the petition seeking the recovery of a journalist Mudassir Naaru and other missing persons.

The court summoned the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) to appear before the court in person in a missing person case. It also directed the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to submit its progress report and ToRs.

During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that the presence of internment centres in the country gives an impression that enforced disappearance of people is a State policy. He further said it is the duty of the state to protect its citizens but it seems that the State itself was responsible for the disappearance of the people.

Additional Attorney General Qasim Wudood said the state had no such policy. He told the court that at least 800 people were missing in Pakistan. The petitioner’s counsel said that at least 2,252 people are missing and 221 missing persons who were in miserable condition have been handed over to their families.

The IHC chief justice said that the court was asking who was responsible for missing persons and this practice should be halted now after fixing responsibility. The counsel said that it was the responsibility of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to investigate these disappearances.

The AAG said the cabinet would meet on Tuesday and he had asked the defence secretary to raise the matter of the Mahira Sajid case before the federal cabinet. The case was adjourned until March 11.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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