LAHORE - Army authorities have agreed to provide police access to uniformed officers allegedly involved in the abduction of citizens in Balochistan province to for investigation, to comply with orders issued by the Supreme Court on Balochistan Law and order case on Wednesday.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry conducted the hearing on Balochistan law and order situation, and particularly the missing persons’ cases this week at the Quetta registry of Supreme Court, issued a written judgment in the case on Wednesday.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Shah Khawar informed the court that Inspector General Frontier Constabulary has agreed to hand over every person allegedly involved in the forced disappearances to the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Central Investigation Department (CID) for due interrogation.
FC official Abdul Waheed is required for investigation in the case of Mehrullah Khilji’s disappearance. Another official, Major Saif is required for interrogation by the police in a different case. The government counsel told the court that he had contacted the Ministry of Defence in this regard and obtained assurance for the production, appearance of Major Saif before the police in the case of the abduction of Abdul Wahab. “Yet another important case of Sami Hussain Anqa, son of Nusrat Hussain Anqa, reportedly missing from 2009 is required to be investigated as there are allegations against the agencies,” the written order of the court read, adding that “it seems that no effective progress has been made so far in this behalf.”
The court also summoned a progress report of the case.
FC officials implicated in abduction
As per the official figure, about 60 persons were allegedly picked up by FC and about eight to nine persons are believed to be in the Rebel Camps. Fresh applications over the disappearance of five to seven people have also been received.
“If the police or any judicial forum appointed by this court concludes on the basis of material available on record, the involvement of uniformed personnel either of the FC or other forces, there would be a situation likely to cause embarrassment and adversely affect the position not only of the FC but other forces as well,” the court order warned.
Giving two weeks time to relevant authorities, the court observed in its order that all the law enforcing agencies are obligated to disclose if the missing persons are in their custody.
It ordered the authorities to treat these individuals as criminals, as per terms of Article 9 and Article 10 of the Constitution, and deal with them accordingly. The court further order that if FC and other law enforcing agencies extended cooperation to the court for recovery and production of the missing persons, it would do good to their dwindling credibility.
The AAG also apprised the court about deliberations between the law enforcing agencies and other stakeholders arranged by the chief secretary Balochistan, which saw it decided that a two-week window would be required to submit a report on the missing persons’ issue to the court.
“It is to be noted that it is not for the first time that we have granted adjournments, time to effect the recovery of missing persons, as in the past as well, for the same reasons from time to time, the case has been postponed,” read the court order.
However, the AAG responded by saying that the new appointments have improved the situation. He informed the court that both the IG FC and IG Police posts have recently had new appointments in the Province of Balochistan, and the appointees are committed for the resolution of this issue in a befitting manner.
The AAG further said that he therefore expected to have results within two weeks, as desired by the court.