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ISLAMABAD: As caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar failed to appear before the court, the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Monday, again summoned him to appear before it in person in a petition seeking recovery of missing Baloch students.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of a case related to the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances and a petition seeking recovery of missing Baloch students.

During the hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan appeared before the IHC and the judge asked about PM Kakar’s appearance before the court. The AGP replied that the prime minister was in Karachi.

When the IHC bench asked about the appearance of the defence and interior ministers, Awan said that the two were also busy. The Interior Ministry’s secretary then appeared before the court, at which, Justice Kayani asked why the Defence Ministry’s secretary was not present.

Justice Kayani said that the petition was filed in 2022 and a commission had been formed. It took us two years to recover our citizens who did not even have any criminal case registered against them.

Addressing AGP Awan, he said that you had submitted an affidavit that no person would go missing after today. [Yet] a person is missing from Islamabad’s F-6 without a first information report against him.

The IHC judge said that the purpose of summoning the prime minister was to inquire why the state’s premier was failing in his duties. He added, “We have charges against our institutions regarding enforced disappearances. If the prime minister, defence minister and secretary, and the interior minister and secretary cannot perform their duties then they should leave their posts.”

AGP Awan requested that the incoming government review the matter instead of the caretaker setup. He added that when the elected government comes into power, it will look at the matter afresh.

At this, the judge said that there was one government for three-and-a-half years, then another for 16 months, and then the caretakers but nothing came out of it. There are direct allegations against institutions here.

He pointed that he will constitute a committee comprising the heads of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), MI (Military Intelligence) and the IB (Intelligence Bureau). The AGP again urged the court to adjourn the matter till the elected government assumed its responsibilities.

During the hearing, PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat also appeared before the court and said that a day ago, the Islamabad police and [state] institutions conducted a raid at his house.

He asserted that he was present at the house and his children were present yet the doors of his house were broken down. The Islamabad police are the biggest criminals. The PTI lawyer further alleged that his house was raided without a warrant.

The IHC bench issued directives to the interior secretary to summon the Islamabad police chief and the head of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) at the next hearing.

He added that it is a matter of shame that all this is happening with a lawyer and an MNA-elect. They are not talking about Lakki Marwat but about Islamabad’s F-8.

Awan requested the court to give him time till the last week of March.

In her arguments, human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari said that a few people were recovered but then in February, people went missing again.

She recalled that even though the AGP had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court, people went missing in Balochistan. “The policy of forced disappearances is now of the state,” she added.

Marwat alleged that in abduction cases in Islamabad, the Islamabad police themselves are involved. He stated that 36 cases were filed against him for being affiliated with the PTI and he is on bail in all cases yet there was a raid last night.

Justice Kayani warned that if any person is abducted from within the premises of the IHC, the interior secretary, Islamabad IG, and the CTD Incharge would be responsible for it.

The court ordered AGP Awan to submit a list of the missing who had allegedly gone missing recently. Justice Kayani said that he would issue an order for constituting a three-member committee of the director generals of the country’s intelligence agencies.

Later, the IHC bench again summoned Kakar and the secretary interior and secretary defence to appear before the court on the next hearing and deferred the case till February 28 for

further proceedings.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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