ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was informed Tuesday that the trial of two army officers involved in the missing persons in Balochistan would be held under Pakistan Army Act 1952.

Irfan Qadir, representing Frontier Constabulary (FC) Balochistan, informed a three-member bench that he had a meeting with the Advocate General Balochistan who informed him that the provincial government on the requisition from the federal government would hold trial of two army officials under Army Act. “They are surely going to be tried under Army Act,” the counsel said.

The apex court on March 8 had sought reply from Balochistan government whether it would proceed against the army officials, involved in the missing persons in the province, under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) or Army Act 1952. Last year in March CID DIG Feroze Shah had submitted a report in the Supreme Court nominating army men including two Lt-Colonels, six majors and two subedars in the missing persons’ cases in Balochistan.

Irfan Qadir, who is also a former attorney general, said if the provincial government wanted that the two army officers be tried under Army Act then principal of consistency and Article 25 of the constitution demands that all the other officers involved in missing persons cases too should be tried under Army Act.

Advocate General Balochistan Nizamuddin informed the bench headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk that on the direction of the apex court meetings on 18 and 24th of March were held. Justice Amir Hani Muslim questioned whether the chief secretary of the province participated in the meeting. The AG reply was ‘no’. Upon that the honourable judge remarked that the court directions have not been complied. Justice Nasir asked from the advocate general how many times the case would be adjourned? “Time and again the opportunity was given to the provincial administration but no solution had been found out yet,” he said.

Justice Nasir further inquired from AG Balochistan what had happened about the tribunal report on DNA tests. Mr Nizamud Din told that so far the tribunal has not finalised its investigation regarding the verification of the dead bodies, discovered from mass grave in district Kuzdar. The judge questioned when the samples for DNA tests were send to a Laboratory in Lahore, saying the court has passed order regarding it on March 7 and now it was end of March but no progress was shown. The court directed the AG to inform about the progress on DNA issue today (Wednesday).

Meanwhile, the same bench was informed that on the apex court order FIR has been registered in Tank regarding enforced disappearance of Akunzada. Deputy Attorney General Attique Shah told that on March 6 an FIR has been lodged of Akunzada’s disappearance. The court told him that the direction was not only given for registration of case but also for the investigation. The hearing was adjourned until April 14, with the direction to submit the investigation report.