Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah lambasted the government for having “no control over subsidiary institutions” as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared before the IHC on Friday in missing persons case.
Earlier in July, the court had given the incumbent government till early September to recover six missing persons, including journalist Mudassar Naro, and present them before the court, warning that in case of non-recovery, the premier will have to appear in person at the next hearing.
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During the hearing of the case earlier today, CJ Minallah stated that “it [missing persons] is a serious issue” as he explained why the PM had been called to the court.
“The matter has been pending in court for several months now,” he added as he expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s inaction on the issue.
The court said that as the chief executive the responsibility to address enforced disappearances lies with him.
Acknowledging the committee formed by PM Shehbaz and his efforts, the court went on to express deep concern saying “this is not an issue for a committee”.
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The IHC also said that the pain of the affected families had not been taken into account as it observed that no action had been taken even in the case of the recovered individuals.
“No issue is larger than this one before the court,” remarked the judge confessing that the Baloch students’ issues were “most disturbing” and that enforced disappearances were a matter of going against the constitution.
“This court will ensure civil supremacy,” said CJ Minallah as he regretted that PM Shehbaz had to appear before the court. “Either it should be admitted that the constitution is not held or these institutions are under the control of the executive.”