Supreme Court Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali has intelligence agencies’ involvement in abduction of people and the failure to recover them was the epitome of state failure.
He gave the remarks while presiding over a three-member bench hearing the missing persons’ cases.
Justice Jamali further remarked, “Safeguarding the freedom of citizens is legal and constitutional obligation of the state. This is failure on the part of the state that intelligence agencies are causing enforced disappearances of the people despite the law and constitution being in place. Non-recovery of missing persons is prima facie failure of the state. Courts are not here sitting to release the criminals. But what offence have the missing persons committed?. Every institution has its own credibility. No one will accept any plea of the intelligence agencies if they lose their credibility.”
He said, “On the matter of missing prisoners of Adiala jail, the intelligence agencies said first of all that they had not picked them up. Later they admitted that had lifted the prisoners with the help of police. Police come to seek more time whenever they will. Much time has been given to police and now no more time will be given to it. We will order initiation of action against policemen who have failed.”
Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that the credibility of the intelligence agencies had become suspicious due to their deeds.
“If the claims are false, then why does every missing person is linked to intelligence agencies? The investigation of any case which has to be destroyed be assigned to police. Everything will be ruined. Police pick up the people and hand over them to the intelligence agencies. People are highly worried about their freedom.”
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Tariq Khokhar, Amna Masud Janjua and family members of missing persons appeared in the court.
Haroon Joya, SP Potohar Town, presented a report in Zahir Muzaffar missing person case. The court inquired from the police about the progress of the case.
Khokhar said the intelligence agencies had no information about Zahir Muzaffar, as he was not held by them.
Justice Anwar inquired where the police record was. The father of missing person told the court that the belongings of his missing son were given to him through court. “Even money was given to him along the baggage of my son.”
Tariq Khokhar said Zahir was employed as a servant in a home and he went missing from there.
The court remarked “If he had gone on his own he would have taken money with him. He did not take even his cell phone with him. For this reason, it is being said he has been taken away forcibly.”
The court also heard the case of Muhammad Jamil. AAG Khokhar said police was seeking more time in this case.
Justice Jamali remarked, “Much time has been given to police. They have been asking for time since ever. Attendance of prosecutor general (PG) was made mandatory in this case. The assistant prosecutor general (APG) was directed to obtain information and inform the court about progress.”
Amna Masud Janjua said a commission had also issued order that he be produced. “The court issued production orders in 20 cases but they were not implemented.”
The court ordered ensuring recovery of missing persons and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.