ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) remarked that instead of the court, the government has to resolve the issue of missing persons.

A single bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, on Friday, heard the petition moved by Baloch activist, Sammi Deen, seeking court’s directions to prevent the harassment of Baloch protesters. After hearing the arguments, the bench disposed of the petition seeking to prevent the harassment of the Baloch protesters.

The same bench while hearing a case regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances on January 10, 2024, stated that the enforced disappearance takes place because the state institutions do not believe in the rule of law and emphasised on prosecution of intelligence agencies’ officials allegedly involved in it.

The IHC bench also directed the relevant departments to submit details related to the cases against Baloch protesters within seven days.

During the hearing, Advocate General Ayaz Shaukat requested to present a USB containing Mahrang Baloch’s recent press conference. In response to it, Justice Kayani emphasised that no USB would be accepted and highlighted the daily ridicule faced by individuals in press conferences.

He added that the press conferences are held daily and people are ridiculed. He further said that he did not want or would accept any USB.

Justice Kayani, while addressing the attorney general, highlighted that the people from Balochistan protesting in Islamabad require resolution of their issues and remarked: “You have to resolve the matter, not the court.”

He mentioned that the issues faced by the protesters remained unresolved even in Balochistan. Furthermore, he directed the authorities for the provision of details of cases against them, whether in Turbat or elsewhere, to the applicant’s lawyers.

Shaukat maintained that Baloch protestors are not permitted to protest. He clarified that they are refraining from taking action against the protesters due to the court’s interim relief and added that the government’s desire is for the Baloch protesters to return to their homes.

The protesters were represented by Iman Mazari, Attaullah Kundi, and others while Advocate General Islamabad Ayaz Shaukat and State Counsel Abdul Rahman appeared on behalf of the district administration.

In her writ petition, the petitioner prayed for issuance of direction to the respondents to refrain from harassment and use of force against aggrieved families of Baloch missing persons who are participating in a sit-in near Press Club.

The counsel for petitioner contended that procession of families of Baloch missing persons has now been kept close to Press Club and different actions of harassment are being taken against them by the respondents under the garb of provision of security and recently one of their vehicles including loudspeakers and other articles has been taken away.

He also contended that the majority of the participants of the procession were arrested by the local police by way of two different FIRs, who have now been released by the intervention of this court. The counsel further contended that respondents may also be directed to provide details of FIRs registered against the families of Baloch missing persons, who are participating in the long march from Turbat to Islamabad.

Kundi requested the court that participants of the procession be given protection by appointment of senior administration officer or high-ranked police officer.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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