ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan, during the hearing of the Balochistan unrest and missing persons’ case, has directed Secretary Defence Asif Yasin Malik to present the details of army personnel involved in cases of missing persons of Balochistan on 20th of February.
The court directed interior secretary to ensure his presence during the next hearing of the case. Justice Nasirul Mulk said that the case is continued from 2010 but no concrete steps has so far been taken for recovery of the missing persons of Balochistan, saying that only the assurances have been given in the order sheet.
Two-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk conducted hearing of the case pertaining to missing persons of Balochistan on Thursday. During the hearing, Justice Nasirul Mulk expressed annoyance on the non-appearance of the secretary defence and interior secretary in the court.
During the hearing, the court ordered the production of the interior secretary and the defence secretary before it.
The Additional Interior Secretary informed the bench that the secretaries are engaged in a meeting of formation commanders and intelligence agencies pertaining to missing persons.
Justice Nasirul Mulk said that the court had ordered them to appear at its previous hearing, saying that they would have to abide by the court’s directives.
Following an interval, the defence secretary appeared in the court whereas the interior secretary could not come since he was out of country.
The defence secretary informed the court that a meeting of officers had been called regarding relevant missing persons and sought more time for positive developments to take place. He said that military officers involved in the cases of the missing persons of Balochistan have gone back in army from the Para-military force.
Responding to which, Justice Nasirul Mulk remarked that the interior and defence secretaries had been called because both officials handled the intelligence agencies and police respectively, saying that they would have to decide as to who would cooperate with the court in the case.
Moreover, the defence secretary said he is thankful that the court understood their stance.
Meanwhile, Justice Gulzar said it is not just a matter of understanding, rather the issue is very serious and added that everyone, including the international media, is talking about it.
He said if anyone was involved in any illegal activities, then investigation should be carried out as per the law.
Justice Nasirul Mulk remarked that the case had been pending in court since 2010. He said that a look at the case’s order sheet showed the same assurances given over and over again and that there was no concrete progress in the case.
He added that they should keep the families of missing persons in mind.
The defence secretary said the number of missing persons had reduced from 1100 to 88 upon which Justice Nasirul Mulk said there should be no person missing altogether.
Additional Attorney General Shah Khawar said those army personnel who had been nominated in the case had returned to the military again and added that a request had been submitted with the army which sought to try the officers under the Army Act.
Justice Nasirul Mulk said the matter was not relevant to the court and that it was only concerned with the data of missing persons.
He moreover said Army personnel were nominated in the case and it was not known as to where they were stationed now..
He said the Interior Secretary had been called so that he could ascertain their whereabouts so that they could be investigated.
Justice Nasirul Mulk said if the army was convinced that the nominated personnel had committed an offence, they could investigate them under the Army act and that the court had no issue.
The court ordered the interior secretary to appear at its next hearing and adjourned hearing of the case till February 20.