SC orders Interior Ministry to give detailed report on ‘missing’ persons


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered the Interior Ministry to provide a detailed report of all “missing” persons held at the government facilities while hearing an application filed by Defence of Human Rights Chairperson Amina Janjua.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan passed the directive, calling for a detailed account, including crimes, of everyone being held by the government.

Justice Khan questioned the legitimacy of detaining people without there being charges filed against them.

“Why have these people been held without any charges filed against them,” he asked. “If someone has committed a crime, they should be punished after a trial.”

He further asked the Interior Ministry to explain why people were held captive for years without any trial proceedings against them.

Janjua, representing the missing persons, presented her own report regarding the issue to the apex court.

According to the report, the Enquiry Commission for Missing Persons had received 4,229 cases since March 2011. From among these, the commission has wrapped up 2,939 cases so far.

Janjua claimed that people were still being forcibly abducted.

The court ordered that all people being held in detention centres should be allowed to meet their relatives within a week.

“The highest judicial office of the country has no answer to give to the loved ones of the missing persons who have been doing the rounds of the courts in search of their loved ones for years,” Justice Khan observed.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned until November 13.