Enforced disappearances are unconstitutional: Justice Athar Minallah

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ISLAMABAD Dec 13,2021- Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah has said that it is not the job of the court to search for people, it cannot find them, while it is not the will of the state and added, the Commission on Enforced Disappearances is also unconstitutional.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday heard the petition filed for the recovery of journalist and blogger Mudassar Naro. Advocate Iman Mazari appeared in the court on behalf of the petitioner.

On this occasion, the Attorney General told the court that the family of Mudassar Naro had met the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister has issued special instructions, the government is taking this matter very seriously, and therefore the court is requested to give some time.

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Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Justice Athar Minallah remarked that it is not the job of the court to search for people, it cannot find them. Only families go to the commission where they are given a date.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that there cannot be a state within a state, it is cannot be allowed to anyone from any department to go and pick someone up.

The court further said in its remarks that the human rights minister said that they are making laws, there is no need for law, there are thousands of families who are not being taken care of by the state, there can be no state within the state, no one has been traced till date, and it is a plain crime.

 On which Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan said that it is not the case of missing persons under the present government, this issue was inherited by the current government, and people use to write books after retirement.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that after retirement, everyone becomes a Sufi.

The Attorney General said that there is a background to this issue that there were suicide bombings in the country, there are many cases in which people crossed the border voluntarily, hundreds of Pakistanis crossed the border in the name of Jihad, went to Afghanistan. He said that now is the time to stop it. Mudassar Naro did nothing but criticize and disappear.

Attorney General said that it is the job of a journalist to criticize.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that enforced disappearances are unconstitutional. Terrorists cannot be killed out of court. It is not possible for any departmental person to kill anyone. People have been going to the Commission on Enforced Disappearances for four years. But the commission did not done job which it had to do.

The Attorney General said that the tragedy is that we have to look at the geographical situation, the issue of national security.

The Chief Justice said that tomorrow an SHO will say that such and such a person is speaking against him, then pick him up. The court can say, proceed under Article 6, against the Chief Executive during whose period disappearance occurred.

Attorney General said one who was punished under Article 4, we were unable to implement this punishment.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the problem is that no one is being held accountable in this matter.

Everyone shifts the responsibility on other, create a hall of shame and put pictures of all the chief executives there.

On which the Attorney General said that why only pictures of Chief Executives should be posted? Some diseases are not cured by court decisions, people have to take to the streets. On this, Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that court decisions also provide treatment if those responsible are to be identified.

Khalid Javed Khan said that extrajudicial killings have been taking place here since 1970, to which Justice Athar Minallah asked, Mr Attorney General, can you tell me what the court should do? If state had played it role, a child of missing person has not come here in the court.

The Chief Justice also said that we do not know whether the media is free or not. Otherwise, the pictures of missing persons are on the front page, Chief Executive should take the responsibility and he should hold responsible who are his subordinates.

On this occasion, Advocate Inam-ur-Rehman said that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet are responsible for the violation of fundamental rights in the state and there is pressure on the media which cannot show the plight of the families of the missing persons.

On which Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that it could not be more painful if the state itself gets involved in crime. Help the court, to find who should be held responsible for the missing persons? The Commission for Missing Persons is a violation of Article 16. This is a test case, what is the reaction of the state? The response should be clear and show disappearance is not policy of the state.

Further hearing of the case was adjourned till January 18.