Pakistan PM Shebaz Sharif appears before HC in missing persons case

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared at the Islamabad high court on Friday and assured the chief judge that every effort would be made to recover the missing people believed by the security services to be involved in anti-state activities.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has been ordered by the court to bring the matter of enforced disappearance to parliament to legislate on it, as “India and other countries” have done.
Last July, Chief Justice Athar Minallah warned that if the missing people were not found, it would summon the incumbent chief executive, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
When Sharif appeared before the court, Justice Minallah told him that he had been summoned because the matter at hand was huge. The judge reiterated that the court had referred the matter of missing persons to the federal cabinet several times, but the cabinet’s response was “unsatisfactory”.
Referring to former soldier Pervez Musharraf, he said, “An executive has ruled this country for nine years. He proudly wrote in his book that we sold our people to foreign countries.” The court stressed that there should be no impression that law enforcement agencies are picking on citizens.
Addressing the Prime Minister, the chief justice commented: “You are the prime minister and the national security of this country is in your hands. This court trusts you. Give us a solution to this problem.” He directed Sharif to take matters to parliament and legislate on them. “India and other countries do the same,” he said.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif replied that solving the problem was his duty. “I can’t say that all the missing people will be found, but we won’t have a problem in this matter,” the prime minister told the court.
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, who was also summoned by the court along with Prime Minister and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, asked the court in eight to 10 weeks to introduce reforms in the criminal justice system. The court then gave the government more time and adjourned the hearing until November 14.
Forced disappearances are a persistent problem across Pakistan. Human rights activists and observers claim that law enforcement agencies, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), are responsible for forced disappearances in Pakistan. The security agencies, however, deny such claims and emphasize that many are missing or have joined militant organizations such as Pakistanis. Taliban. Law enforcement agencies also claim that many people died en route to Europe as illegal immigrants.
The Commission for Missing Persons revealed that it has received more than 8,463 complaints about enforced disappearances since its inception in March 2011. According to the commission’s monthly report, the month alone In the last three years, the commission has received 76 complaints about missing persons.

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