14 missing persons presented in SC
07 December, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The fourteen disappeared persons were presented in the Supreme Court on Saturday following the directives of the apex court, our sources reported.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Amir Hani Muslim resumed hearing of the missing persons case today.
The SC on Friday had asked Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to produce 14 missing persons in the chamber of Justice Amir Hani Muslim for in-camera hearing today and the remaining 11 missing persons on Monday.
The court had also directed the defence minister to produce the families of two missing persons who had died so that their permission could be sought for autopsy. During the hearing, the chief justice observed that the government will not get rid of the issue unless it resolved it.
Today, the defence ministry presented the missing 14 persons in two cars whose faces were covered to conceal their identity for security reasons. They were brought in room no. 6 of the court while Justice Amir Hani will question them about their identity behind the closed doors.
The defence ministry sought the court's permission to bring the vehicles inside the court's premises so that the missing persons could be secured. The court granted the permission.
Additional defence secretary told the court that the presented persons were living an independent life and were traced with great effort for today's hearing.
Before the hearing today, Attorney General Munir A Malik held a meeting with Justice Amir Hani.
On Friday Khawaja Asif, in compliance with the court's earlier order, presented details of the 35 missing persons and submitted that none of the missing persons was in the custody of the army. He apprised the court that there were different categories of the 35 detainees, out of whom seven were free and could be produced in security, two were in the internment centre, one had gone to Saudi Arabia, two had died of natural causes, three persons were in North and South Waziristan and five persons whose details were incomplete but would be firmed up in a few days.
Similarly, he said that eight missing persons had crossed the border and were in Kunar province of Afghanistan, while the details of seven including Yasin Shah remained unknown.
At this, the Justice Iftikhar asked the defence minister to provide evidence of migration of those who crossed the Afghan border. The chief justice also asked the minister to present all of them in the court. The chief justice questioned how the authorities got the information about the eight internees living in Kunar.
Attorney General Munir A Malik presented a confidential report in sealed envelope which was opened in the court. He also furnished the summary of 35 missing persons.