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Saturday June 22, 2024

SHC tells interior, defence secretaries to submit reports from internment centres

By Jamal Khurshid
May 22, 2024
The Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — SHC website/File
The Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — SHC website/File

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday directed the secretaries of federal interior and defence ministries to seek reports on missing persons from internment centres and produce them before the court.

Hearing petitions against enforced disappearance of Kamran and other citizens, a division bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto observed that reports from internment centres as well as from the police of other provinces had not been filed despite the court orders.

The high court observed that several joint investigation teams (JIT) and provincial task force sessions had been held for the recovery of missing persons, but to no avail. It directed the defence secretary to file comments with regard to the whereabouts of Kamran, who had gone missing from the Baghdadi area nine years ago. It also directed federal and provincial law enforcement agencies to submit reports with regard to the whereabouts of Muttahida Quami Movement activists Javed and Yaseen, who have been missing for 10 years.

The SHC observed that the JIT and provincial task force held meetings and directions had been issued to investigation officers to approach the fresh travel history of missing persons, especially at the entry and exit points of the country.

A federal law officer told the high court that he had requested the ministry of interior to call reports from internment centres. The court observed that the replies of the interior and defence ministries had not been filed yet with regard to the detention of missing persons in internment centres.

IT directed the secretaries of the ministries of defence and interior to collect reports from the internment centres working under their control with regard to the presence of missing persons and produce the reports before the court by the next date of hearing or else to file their affidavits. The high court directed the home secretary and relevant officers to repeat the sessions of joint investigation teams and the provincial task force and submit compliance reports on the next date of hearing.