IHC summons PM on Sept 9 if missing persons not recovered by then

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to ensure that the missing persons – whose cases are being heard in the IHC – were produced in the next hearing on September 9, warning that the failure to do so would require him to appear in person on the said date and give an explanation.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the conditional summon to the PM as he heard the missing persons’ case related to the disappearance of journalist Mudassar Mahmood Naro and five others.

“It is a fact that nobody is doing anything [about it],” Justice Minallah remarked while hearing identical petitions seeking the recovery of missing persons.

When asked how many people are missing, the deputy attorney general, while citing a report, said that out of 8,400 people, 600 citizens are still missing.

“Many people are playing a double role in the case; they are playing from both sides,” he added.

Reprimanding the deputy attorney general, the court asked, “Then, what is the purpose of recruiting so many policemen?”

At this, PPP leader Farhatullah Babar said, “So many people were picked up but it is not known yet who picked them up.”

“Which party do you represent? Has it ever been in government?” asked the court.

Babar said that he is affiliated with the PPP and it had been in the government.

The judge asked, “When people were picked up in your government, then what did you do?

Meanwhile, the court-appointed Farhatullah Babar and Islamabad Bar Council’s member Advocate Abid Nazir as amici curiae in the case.

Babar urged the court to make the Mansoor Alam Commission report public. Stressing the need for summoning the prime minister, he said that calling other officers is useless in this case.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing till September 9.

On June 23, the IHC lashed out at the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances over its failure to recover missing persons as it observed that the commission had failed to fulfil its responsibility.