ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday, on the request of the attorney general for Pakistan, refrained from issuing notices to the prime minister and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister for not implementing its December 10, 2013, judgment.
On December 10 last year, a three-judge bench, headed by former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, held that the army authorities had removed 35 persons from an internment centre in Malakand Garrison two years ago. The bench, therefore, ordered the authorities to present the missing persons within seven days and initiate action against those responsible for their shifting. Though the federal and the provincial authorities produced 12 missing persons out of 35, but took no action against the military authorities that illegally detained them. The court also pushed for legislation regarding enforced disappearances, but so far no law for missing persons has been framed.
On the conclusion of the proceedings, as Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, who headed the three-member bench, was dictating the order to issue notices to the chief executives of the federal and the KPK governments, AGP Salman Aslam Butt came to the rostrum and sought adjournment to apprise the government of the order and to show some progress on the recovery of the missing persons. The court, on the requests of the AGP and the KP advocate general, adjourned the case till today (Wednesday).
At the outset of the hearing, the attorney general informed the court that the government had constituted a one-man commission, headed by Justice (r) Mian Muhammad Ajmal, to trace out missing persons. He added the inquiry would be completed within a month, while funds would be provided to the families of the missing persons.
Justice Jawwad remarked that the court had to date exercised restraint to give time to the government to make progress on the missing persons’ case. “The government wants the apex court to start begging for recovery of missing persons,” he said. The judge rejected the response of the federal government.
The bench also expressed dissatisfaction over the KP government’s efforts to trace the remaining missing persons, saying it seemed the government was helpless and the provincial authorities were reluctant to use their powers in this regard. Justice Jawwad remarked if the provincial government could not protect the fundamental rights of its citizens it should permit them to leave the country. The court also directed the KP advocate general to provide information on the constitutional powers of a province on the next hearing. The case was adjourned till today (Wednesday).