Supreme Court orders speedy recovery of missing persons
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Balochistan Government to provide Rs1 million each as compensation to the heirs of 381 people whose bodies were found in the restive province and directed that the compliance report be submitted to the court by July 9. The court also directed the federal and provincial governments to take speedy measures for the recovery of missing people.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard a petition of the Balochsitan High Court Bar Association president against target killings, kidnappings for ransom and missing persons cases in Balochistan province.
During the hearing, Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Fateh Yaqoob informed the court that 381 bodies found during the past three years had been identified. He submitted that the District Compensation Committee (DCC) was deliberating upon giving compensation of Rs400,000 each to the heirs of these 381 victims.
The chief justice, however, ordered the chief secretary to ensure compensation to the heirs of the victims and said this process must be completed within three days. Meanwhile, the federal investigation committee submitted a report before the apex court regarding missing persons, on which the court noted that no practical measures were taken in this regard.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir also submitted a report pertaining to the committee, constituted by the prime minister on the law and order situation of Balochistan. The AG contended that the focus of attention of the said committee was on the recovery of missing persons and bodies being found in the province as well as reviewing the incidents of kidnapping for ransom.
The court observed that besides providing security to the citizens, protection of basic fundamental rights was the responsibility of the government.
The CJ observed that in order to recover the missing people, an investigation committee was constituted but it never gave fruitful results. He further noted that the government had the support of FC, Levis and police; hence, it should not have any problem recovering missing people.
The court directed the chief secretary, defence secretary, interior secretary, IG FC and IG Police to take effective measures for the recovery of missing people.The court observed that if any one was found involved in criminal activities or acts of terrorism, he should be dealt with in accordance with the law and his record should be produced before the court.
The court also directed Defence Secretay Nargis Sethi to convene a meeting of the law enforcement agencies at her office and resolve the issue of missing people.The defence secretary, however, informed the court that they have prepared a list of 93 people who went missing in Balochistan, and the same has been dispatched to the Interior Ministry for taking action. She further said the missing people are not in the custody of ISI or other agencies.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the court that the law enforcement agencies are doing its work for the recovery of missing people. The chief justice, however, observed that the matter is of a serious nature, adding that they would summon Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Sardar Akhtar Mengal for resolving the issue in the province.
The chief justice further said that if the prevailing situation remained the same, the court would ask the session’s judge to monitor the process of recovery of missing people.Aman Ullah Kanrani, Advocate General, Balochistan, told the court that they have recovered 10 to 11 missing people, adding that the the law and order situation in the province was improving and assured that soon all the missing people would be recovered.
DIG Investigation, Quetta, Hamid Shakeel, and home secretary also appeared before the court.Meanwhile, the court directed the federal and provincial set up to speed up the process of recovery of missing people and submit the report by July 9.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing and announced that the hearing into the case will be resumed at the Branch Registry, Quetta.
INP adds: The Supreme Court, in its interim order in Balochistan law and order case, held the Frontier Corps (FC) responsible for the disappearances in the province.
The SC stated that it is the government’s responsibility to protect life and property of its people and ordered to recover the missing persons at any cost.The order further stated that the helplessness of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) is against the expectations while it was also found that the agencies, especially FC, are involved in disappearances.