Applications of over 1,500 'enforced disappearances' still pending: Supreme Court informed -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Applications of over 1,500 ‘enforced disappearances’ still pending: Supreme Court informed

Pakistan Press Foundation

Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it has disposed of as many as 3,076 applications of disappearance till December last whereas a total of 1,532 applications are pending before the Commission. Submitting report before a three-member bench led by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Registrar of the Commission Khalid Naeem said the Commission had written a letter to the government to formulate a policy in order to award compensation to families of missing persons but it got no response.

Appearing before the bench, Chairperson Defence of Human Rights Amna Masood informed that she is unaware of the reports of the Commission. She alleged that reports were kept locked instead of sharing with the public or at least with the families of missing persons. She further said that the Commission is just like a post office as it could not write letters to the authorities directly, saying aggrieved families have high expectation from the apex court due to which they have come from far-flung areas of the country for remedy in the current matter.

Appearing on behalf of his client, Advocate Inamur Rahim said that aggrieved families have invoked the apex court’s jurisdiction because Commission is not fulfilling its duty. Rahim further said that authorities concerned are not sharing information of persons detained in interment centers, to which Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said while addressing the lawyer when petitioners are not clear in their assertions then how it would be possible for the court to pass an order.

During the course of proceedings, Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti submitted that he will contact the authorities concerned over status of persons in internment centers; however, the court asked him to inform the court also after consultation. Submitting report on behalf of the Ministry of Defence about missing persons, Bhatti requested the bench to keep the matter confidential. Upon which wife of missing person Masood, Amna Masood requested that a copy of the report should also be provided to her. However, Bhatti plainly said that Amna can examine the report on the condition that she will not share contents of the report with the media, whereas the bench said that Amna after examining the report can file reply in the matter.

The mother of one missing person Faisal apprised the bench that authorities have been filing reports for the last 12 years but no tangible action has been taken so far. Later, the hearing of the matter was adjourned for three weeks.

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