ISLAMABAD (APP) - Amna Masood Janjua, Chairperson of Defence of Human Rights, on Monday apprised the Supreme Court that a total of 66 new cases of missing persons had been reported.
Appearing before a three-member bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, in connection with a bunch of pleas regarding missing persons, she said that a total of 749 cases were pending before the court.
Expressing her reservations over the functioning of Inquiry Commission on Enforced Disappearances, Janjua said it had declared her husband Masood Janjua dead on the basis of an unsigned report. She claimed that a new witness over the presence of her husband had also gone missing recently.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, addressing Deputy Attorney General Dil Muhammad Alizai, said that the state had to share prime responsibility to protect its citizens. “The prime onus rests with the state to protect its citizens. The judiciary has no force to run after everyone,” he added. He regretted that the functions of the state had to be performed by the court due to their inaction.  Hashmat Ali Habib, counsel for Muhammad Talha, a missing person, produced his client by saying that he had returned after 348 days.
The bench directed Talha to submit his statement within ten days enlisting accounts of his disappearance and appearance. Replying to the contentions of the counsel, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said it was up to his client to say whatever he wanted in his statement, the court would not dictate anything. Justice Khawaja told Amna Janjua they had all the sympathies with her and lauded her efforts for the recovery of missing persons.
Janjua said her husband’s case had been pending before the commission since December 2012, and lamented that she could not get justice during the last eight years.
Justice Khawaja observed that a mechanism had already been set but they could look into it after further proceedings into the missing persons cases.
The bench directed the deputy attorney general to submit till March 27 a detailed report regarding current position of applications on missing persons and the status of other issues pending before the commission.
The bench also directed Amna Janjua to submit details of all the cases and said that it would take up other missing persons cases on next date of hearing.