View Full Version : CJP orders setting up of special cell on missing persons

25th June 2018, 10:46
KARACHI / HYDERABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday directed law enforcement agencies to set up a special cell to ascertain information about missing persons.

While hearing dozens of applications filed by the relatives of missing persons at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry, the chief justice expressed resentment towards the applicants for their failure to maintain the decorum of the court and for disturbing the proceedings.

A large number of people, most of them women, had gathered outside the court building. They were carrying placards and demanding recovery of their missing relatives who have been allegedly picked up by law enforcement agencies.

Later, they were allowed to enter the premises of the apex court and asked to place their applications before the chief justice in the courtroom.

During the hearing, the applicants broke into tears, raised a hue and cry and hurled allegations against law enforcement agencies whose officials were present in the courtroom. One of the applicants said that her elderly father had been missing for 14 months.

The chief justice expressed sympathy with the applicants and said that they should be informed about the fate of their relatives. He observed that it was not necessary that all of missing persons had been picked up by law enforcement agencies as some of them might have met with accidents or been kidnapped due to personal enmity.

However, the emotionally charged applicants disturbed the proceedings, scuffled with police personnel and a woman pounded the rostrum with fists. The chief justice withdrew to his chamber but later reappeared in the courtroom and expressed displeasure over the attitude of the relatives of missing persons.

The CJP asked an applicant how dared she pound the rostrum, adding that he would have sent her to jail for committing contempt of court if she was not a woman. She extended an apology.

The chief justice told the applicants that he had left for Karachi at 2am to hear their cases, but they were committing contempt of court.

He directed his staff to collect all applications from the relatives of missing persons and ordered that action be taken on them.

Earlier, the inspector general of Sindh police, the director general of the Pakistan Rangers Sindh and officials of intelligence agencies appeared before the CJP in his chamber. They had been summoned by the top judge after he received complaints from people about their missing relatives during his visit to Sukkur, Larkana and Hyderabad.

Earlier addressing members of the Sindh High Court Bar Association at a banquet in Hyderabad on Saturday night, the CJP said that nations offered sacrifices for their future and posterity and he wished to see a nation that rendered sacrifices, adding that “I will soon demand one such sacrifice for a cause and the nation will hopefully not disappoint me”.

He said that misuse and abuse of authority by executive bodies led to litigation menace, adding that if the executive improved its functioning, it would lessen burden of litigation.

He emphasised the need for reforming obsolete laws and hoped that the coming parliament would play a role in this regard.

He said that people had an inalienable right to life, equality and right to property but the judiciary “cannot discharge its duty to ensure these rights properly”. “I feel myself responsible for it as I have served for 21 years in the judiciary. I am not pessimist but it leaves a lot to be desired in the judiciary.”

Terming litigation a curse and ailment for society, he said that in the absence of the bar’s cooperation, the bench could not provide justice to people. He said that as the institutional head and paterfamilias, he believed that friends of the bar would have to extend their cooperation to overcome delay in cases’ disposal.

“After facing injustice, a litigant faces cases for 40 years and ends up getting adjournment on every date”, Chief Justice Nisar deplored. He said that the alternative dispute resolution mechanism was acceptable worldwide to limit litigation. Even the bar in the US opposed it initially but now it was supportive of it after finding it best procedure to resolve issues, he added.

On the CJP’s arrival in the hall, relatives of missing persons staged a protest. He received an application from a girl about enforced disappearance of her father Khadim Arijo. A group of lawyers raised slogans against the Kalabagh dam. The chief justice also met sacked policemen of Sindh Reserved Police.


26th June 2018, 12:53
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">And the CHief Justice of Pakistan is saying “agencies are not involved in enforced disappearances”.<br>Your statement and this video is proving to whom you’re working baba rehmate. <a href="https://t.co/zXhz82DZ31">pic.twitter.com/zXhz82DZ31</a></p>&mdash; Tanveer Arain (@tanvirarain) <a href="https://twitter.com/tanvirarain/status/1011040868575399936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 25, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

28th June 2020, 17:07
The long wait

AT 1am on June 28, 2009, plain-clothed armed men abducted my father, Dr Deen Mohammad. He was on night duty at a hospital in Ornach, Khuzdar district. My sister and I have abandoned our childhood, our studies, our home — everything — to find him and secure his release.

Nothing has worked. For years, we have camped in front of press clubs in Quetta and Islamabad, clutching a portrait of my father. We have held hunger strikes and sit-ins. We have submitted his case to the Balochistan High Court and the Supreme Court. We have delivered legal testimony and presented eyewitnesses. In the apex court, now retired justice Javed Iqbal once promised us that my father would be released within 10 days. That was over 10 years ago.

In 2013, I joined other families of missing persons from Balochistan and marched from Quetta to Karachi, and then to Islamabad. We walked 3,000 kilometres over 116 days. I have presented my father’s case in front of every human rights organisation in the country. I have gone to the UN. I have asked every major political figure in my province to help find my father. I am in contact with Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari. Today, I am sitting at the missing persons camp in front of the Quetta Press Club, marking the 11-year anniversary of my father’s disappearance.

Our story is not unique. We are one among thousands of other families across Pakistan searching for their loved ones: missing fathers, brothers, husbands and sons. While writing this, I met Hasiba Qambrani and Seema Baloch. Hasiba’s two brothers, Hassan and Hizbollah, were abducted on Feb 14. Having already buried the mutilated body of a third brother, she is terrified they will meet the same fate. Seema’s brother, Shabbir, was picked up during an operation in Gwarkop in October 2016. He remains missing. Thousands of Pakhtuns, Sindhis and Mohajir have been abducted around the country. Like my sister and I, their daughters are also looking for their fathers. In KP, Talia had been desperately searching for her father Idris Khattak since November 2019; it was only recently revealed that he was in custody. In Sindh, Sasui and Sorath are searching for Hidayatullah Lohar, missing since April 2017.

Yet every time we try to raise our voice, we are bullied. Those who stand by us in cities like Lahore and Islamabad are harassed and threatened.

Since it was set up by the government in 2011, more than 6,000 cases have been registered with the Commission of Inquiry of Enforced Disappearance; over 2,000 are still pending. Of the cases that have been ‘disposed’ of, 823 of the missing were found in internment centres, 510 in prisons facing trial, and 213 have died. The inability to account for the missing and lack of support from the CoIoED has led the families of missing persons in Balochistan to boycott their proceedings.

Dr Deen Mohammad is not the only disappearance we live with. The day he went missing, so did a lot of other things. We lost a home, once peaceful; joy and celebration; our childhood. We lost a mother’s son, a wife’s husband, and a father to three children. When he was abducted, our entire lives came undone. Our family was in torment, suffering socially, financially, mentally and physically. My sick mother raised us without his support and companionship. Everything we once had went missing. Every day my family and I wonder, ‘Where is he? What state is he in?’ Every day we are reminded that we know nothing about his whereabouts; we don’t even know if he is alive.

I don’t know why my father was picked up, but I have always said: if he has done anything illegal, then present him in a court of law and deliver his punishment after a trial. Consider him, and us, equal citizens and use the same law that applies to all other citizens. Don’t make him disappear like this. Don’t torture us.

My family and I can no longer bear the heaviness of this wait. We’re tired now; we’ve been struggling for 11 years, but no one seems to hear us. I’ve learnt that a lot of people speak about the Baloch missing persons issue for a bit, but then move on. They forget that families like mine cannot move on. Many talk of human rights, sometimes raise their voice for the smallest of issues, but ignore rampant enforced disappearances taking place across Pakistan.

We were little girls when our father disappeared; I was 10 and my sister eight years old. Now we are young women, still waiting for his return. The more time passes, the more his life is in danger. I don’t have words to express what my family continues to go through. Sometimes, we’ll hear rumours that raise our hopes. But when tortured bodies and mass graves continue turning up in Balochistan, disappointment and helplessness return.

I ask all those who feel any compassion for human rights and dignity in Pakistan to stand by us, the families of missing persons, and join their voices with ours. Stand by me, and help bring my father back. End these injustices.