Monday May 27, 2024

Enforced disappearances are treason: Justice Minallah

By Awais Yousafzai
April 02, 2022
Enforced disappearances are treason: Justice Minallah

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah equated enforced disappearances with treason on Friday. The remark came during the hearing of missing journalist Mudassar Naro's case at the IHC. Naro, a journalist from Lahore, went missing in August 2018.

At the outset of the hearing, the additional attorney-general and judicial assistant appeared before the court. "Enforced disappearances are treason. It is a case of treason," Justice Minallah remarked. He said that enforced disappearances are not acceptable in a country that follows the Constitution. He asked if the inability to recover Mudassar Naro was the failure of state agencies, adding that the federal and provincialgovernments should have looked into this matter.

"Can anyone be disappeared without their [federal and provincial governments] will? No," the judge declared. "People going missing is the incompetence of the State. The Executive is responsible if the state agencies are not in control. Why don't we declare the executive responsible for it."

The judge went on to say that sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act are applied in the enforced disappearance cases. Hailing from Lahore, Mudassar Naro has been missing since August 20, 2018, when he went to the northern areas with his wife and child.

His artist and activist wife Saddaf Chughtai passed away due to a sudden cardiac arrest, leaving behind their four-year-old son, Sachal.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has shown serious concern over the situation and demanded a probe. They have called upon PM Imran Khan and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari to look into the case.