The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday said the presence of internment centers in the country gives an impression that forcibly disappearing people is a policy of the state.
During a hearing of the case pertaining to the recovery of journalist Mudassir Naaru and other missing persons, the IHC chief justice said the state cannot disappear anyone and it’s an established fact.
CJ Athar Minallah added it was the duty of the state to protect its citizens but in hindsight, it seemed that the state itself was responsible for disappearing dissidents.
During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Qasim Wudood said the state had no such policy and added that at least 800 people were missing in Pakistan.
However, Counsel Inam Rahim contested the claim and said at least 2,252 people are missing and the bodies of 221 missing persons have been handed over to their families.
“It was the responsibility of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to investigate these disappearances,” the council said during the hearing.
AAG Wudood said the cabinet will meet on Tuesday and added that the defense secretary has forwarded the case of Maira Sajid to the cabinet.
“I told the secretary to forward this case to the cabinet,” he said, adding that a committee comprising the defense secretary and other government officials had been formed.
The IHC also sought the TORs for the commission concerning the recovery of Naaru and other missing persons.
The court directed that the commission submit its report at the next hearing and the attorney general appear before the bench for final arguments in the case. The case has been adjourned till February 28.