Enforced disappearances: Cooperate or face arrests, SC tells FC
27 August, 2013
QUETTA: A bench of the Supreme Court (SC), hearing the cases of missing persons in Quetta Registry, observed on Monday that Frontier Corps (FC) and other security agencies are not cooperating with the court for the early and safe recovery of missing persons. The court also said it could issue arrest warrants of those involved in forced disappearances, extra-judicial arrest and detention if the authorities concerned did not cooperate in production of missing persons before the Supreme Court.
The bench was consisting of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawad S Khwaja and Justice Azmat Saeed. Senior most officials of federal and provincial governments were present in the court.
The court gave the Frontier Corps IG a day for producing the missing persons in the court.
All persons, from the president of Pakistan to a common man, are equal before the law and every one will have to remain within the bonds of the laws of the land, the chief justice remarked.
The court expressed its dissatisfaction over the report of the Interior Ministry about the missing persons. Since 2010, many reports have been presented but the result remained zero, the court observed.
The additional attorney general informed the court that the federal government is serious and making efforts for the recovery of missing persons. He said that the case of Abdul Malik, a missing person from Naushki, will be taken seriously. Other cases will also be taken with all seriousness, the law officer of the federal government told the court.
At this stage, Justice Khwaja said that talk about the present situation and not the future. The FC was given chance and time but still it had not cooperated, the judge observed.
The chief justice said that he is aware that personnel of the Frontier Corps are being killed but this did not mean that they should whisk away people and keep them under unlawful confinement.
The CJP said that the court is well aware how to get its orders implemented. He said he had many expectations from the government and its agencies but nothing is happening. The past government was far better and it produced some results and some people were recovered, the court said.
It also sought the list of recovered missing persons.
Advocate Sajid Tareen informed the court that the people had rejected the government's reports on missing persons.
The chief justice remarked that no one had the right to detain anyone. If the missing persons had committed any crime, they should be produced before the court of law, the CJP said. "No one is above the law," he added.
The chief justice told the government officials that everyone will praise good work and no one will oppose it. He asked the additional attorney general to file a written reply on the missing persons cases and "if you, the law officer, can't summon anyone, inform us we will summon them".
In case of Abdul Waheed Multani, the court summoned the FC IG and asked him to produce the man before the court.
Justice Khwaja told the FC IG that the court had handed over eight cases as test for implementation and there was no progress on them. He remarked that the FC had a force of 55,000 personnel and still people are being whisked away from the public places.
An additional secretary of the Balochistan government was also reprimanded for not offering a satisfactory reply on the mutilated bodies being recovered from desolate places.