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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Friday, directed the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Human Rights to submit report about the complaints related to Baloch missing students.

A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the directions while hearing a petition seeking the recovery of a missing person, Hafeez Baloch, a student of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) and other petitions against the harassment and disappearance of Baloch students of other educational institutes.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah directed Iman Hazir Mazari, the counsel for the petitioner to register Baloch students’ complaints of harassment faced by them to the secretary Ministry of Human Rights who will present the same before the recently-constituted commission.

Previously, the same IHC bench had appointed an 11-member commission to enquire and investigate the grievances of students belonging to the province of Balochistan regarding “racial profiling” and enforced disappearances.

In this regard, the bench also directed the secretary Ministry of Interior to set up a mechanism to receive complaints from students belonging to the province of Balochistan and to ensure that they do not have any apprehensions while visiting their hometowns in the province.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani was appointed as convener, while the body’s other members include former senator Afrasiab Khattak, PTI leader Asad Umar, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, Senator Kamran Murtaza, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, former Balochistan chief secretary Nasir Khosa, former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Ali Ahmed Kurd, Pakistan Bar Council vice chairman, and the secretaries of the interior and human rights ministries.

Earlier, Mazari informed the bench that another student, Feroz Baloch, has been missing from a university in Rawalpindi since May 11, adding that they attempted to register an FIR of the incident at Sadiqabad police station for six hours but the police did not do so.

At this, the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) responded that a missing student from Islamabad’s National University of Modern Languages had returned.

Then, the IHC bench directed Advocate Mazari to prepare a complaint, on behalf of the Baloch students’ grievances, and send it to the secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights, who would later present it before the commission.

Justice Minallah also directed Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and the Ministry of Human Rights to submit a report in this regard by the next hearing of the case. He further directed the interior minister to formulate a separate inquiry into the disappearance of Feroz Baloch and submit a report. He remarked that if the minister cannot satisfy the requirement then he must appear before the court in person.

The DAG stated that the purpose of the commission is to address the grievances of all stakeholders and in many cases there are issues of jurisdiction but the commission can look into it.

Later, the IHC bench deferred the hearing of the case till June 10 for further proceedings.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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