Islamabad: 11 more missing persons traced out: SC told
ISLAMABAD: Additional Attorney General (AAG) Karim Khan Agha, on Tuesday, apprised the Supreme Court (SC) that 11 persons who went missing recently had been traced.
“These persons include Ghulam Mustafa, Abdul Hafeez, Muhammad Owais, Habibur Rehman, Muhammad Zubair, Zafar Iqbal, Muhammad Yaqoob, Hafiz Asif Raza, Mahmoodul Hassan, Maulana Ghulamud Din and Usman Gul,” he said. Appearing before a two-member bench of the SC, comprising Justice Javed Iqbal and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, he said that FIRs of all cases of these missing persons had been lodged at respective police stations. “Besides, composition of a commission on enforced disappearances is in progress after its chairman has been inducted as a member of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” he informed the bench.
The bench directed Islamabad SSP Tahir Alam to submit DNA reports of persons, who were martyred during the Red Mosque operation, so that their relatives could have an access to relevant information. The bench also directed the commission on enforced disappearances to look into these cases.
Farid Ahmed Khan, commission secretary, also presented the progress report. According to the report, 83 persons had been traced, out of the total 336, after December 31, 2010, while 108 cases were disposed of, and 20 other cases were deleted as these did not fall in the category of enforced disappearances. “Five cases were deleted due to other reasons, whereas a total of 228 cases are now pending with the commission,” Khan elaborated.
Replying to the request of Amna Masood Janjua, Defence of Human Rights chairperson, about telephonic contacts with missing persons, Justice Javed Iqbal said the court could not issue a directive on such a matter. He remarked that the SC could not issue a directive to parliament to legislate on the matter, as it was outside its jurisdiction. “You should approach your elected representatives and make a similar request,” he added. He further expressed his concern over the number of missing persons.
“No person or agency can arrest anyone except under the law,” he added. Lauding efforts of the commission, he said that it was doing a good job. Ikram Muhammad Chaudhry, counsel for the petitioners, said that foreign missions abroad were not cooperating with detained expatriates. Justice Javed Iqbal said that they should not sit idle in their decorated offices, and it was their prime duty to extend possible cooperation to their countrymen.
“Whenever a foreigner was arrested, a huge hue and cry was raised,” he said, adding, “Why foreign missions become apologetic while taking up the issue of detained expatriates?” The bench also took up individual cases of Abu Bakkar Siddique, Syed Abid Shair, Mohsin Rasheed and others. The bench was apprised that Muhammad Jalil, a recovered person, would appear before the commission on July 28.
Justice Javed said that the commission did the right thing by issuing production order of Muhammad Imarn Qureshi. The bench was also told that besides these recovered persons, six more persons were found either mentally retarded or involved in domestic disputes and criminal activities.
Further hearing was adjourned for two weeks. The bench is seized with the hearing of cases of a number of missing persons. Their cases have been filed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Defence of Human Rights, MQM, former senator Farhatullah Babar and others.