IHC seeks report from ministries about missing Baloch students

ISLAMABAD   –   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Human Rights to submit report about complaints related to Baloch missing students.

A single bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah issued the directions while hearing a petition seeking recovery of a missing person Hafeez Baloch, a student of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), and other petitions against the harassment and disappearance of Baloch students of other educational institutions.

During the hearing, Justice Athar directed Iman Hazir Mazari the counsel for the petitioner to register Baloch students’ complaints of harassment faced by them to the Secretary Ministry of Human Rights who will present the same before the recently constituted commission.

Previously, the same IHC bench had appointed an eleven-member commission to enquire and investigate into the grievances of students belonging to Balochistan regarding “racial profiling” and enforced disappearances.

In this regard, the bench also directed Secretary Ministry of Interior to set up a mechanism to receive complaints from students belonging to Balochistan and to ensure that they do not have any apprehensions while visiting their home towns in the province.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani was appointed as convener, while the body’s other members include former senator Afrasiab Khattak, PTI leader Asad Umar, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani, Senator Kamran Murtaza, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, former Balochistan chief secretary Nasir Khosa, former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Ali Ahmed Kurd, Pakistan Bar Council vice chairman, and the secretaries of the interior and human rights ministries.

Earlier on Friday, Mazari representing the petitioners stated that another student, Feroz Baloch, has been missing from a university in Rawalpindi since May 11. She added that they attempted to register an FIR of the incident at Sadiqabad Police Station for six hours but the police did not do so.

At this, the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) responded that a missing student from Islamabad’s National University of Modern Languages had returned.

Then, the IHC bench directed Advocate Mazari to compose a complaint, on behalf of the Baloch students’ grievances, to the secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights – who would later present it before the commission.

Justice Athar also directed Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Ministry of Human Rights to submit a report in this regard by the next hearing of the case. He directed the interior minister to formulate a separate inquiry into the disappearance of Feroze Baloch and submit a report. He remarked that if the minister cannot satisfy the requirement then he must appear before the court in person.  The DAG said that purpose of the commission is to address the grievances of all stakeholders and in many cases there are issues of jurisdiction but the commission can look into it.

Later, the IHC bench deferred the hearing of the case till June 10 for further proceedings.

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