ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) accepted the request of the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) to include second highest level officials of law enforcement agencies; i.e., ISI, MI, and IB in a committee constituted to probe the cases of forced disappeared persons.

A single bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani allowed this in 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.

According to the IHC’s order, the AGP appeared before the bench and submitted that this Court had constituted a three-member committee comprising DG IB, DG ISI, and DG MI but there are certain administrative difficulties in coordination.

He requested that Joint Director General level officials may be appointed as conveners, and permission may be granted to co-opt the members of other law enforcement agencies including CTD and FIA in the said working for true identification and recovery of the alleged persons who were victims of enforced disappearances.

Justice Kayani noted in his order, “Keeping in view the request made by the Attorney General, the order dated 19.02.2024 is amended to the extent that all the law enforcement agencies including ISI, MI and IB can involve their second highest level officials for achieving the mandate highlighted in the Commission’s report pursuant to the order of this Court and any other official of CTD, FIA may also be co-opted in this regard, if so desired by the Committee.”

Earlier, Justice Kayani had ordered for constituting a three-member committee of the director generals of the country’s intelligence agencies.

The attorney general said that detailed answers to the Court’s queries would be submitted before the next date of hearing and that every person who has allegedly been disappeared or is missing will be reunited with his family.

The AGP further contended that the ministerial committee on enforced disappearances has prepared their recommendations and a summary would be placed in the next Cabinet Committee meeting to resolve the issue, which requires a political solution.

At that, petitioner’s counsel Imaan Zainab Mazari pointed out para 28 of the Commission’s report, which says; “That the creation of multiple structures by the government, directly or indirectly (on the directions of courts) in the form of commissions, cabinet sub-committee and parallel functioning of various human rights organizations under the rubric of enforced disappearances has led to overlapping of mandate and exhaustion of resources without any meaningful and tangible outcome towards resolution of this critical issue.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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