KARACHI: Police on Thursday informed the Sindh High Court that eight people who had been missing from various areas of Karachi have returned home after months of disappearance.
SHC Judge Naimatullah Phulpoto heard petitions regarding the missing persons’ case as police submitted a report stating, “Eight people who had gone missing from various areas across the city have returned.”
Moreover, it was reported that few of the recovered people also appeared before the court as Justice Phulpoto said, “Court’s efforts gave hope to the families of the missing persons.”
Earlier, on Wednesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had formed a special two-member bench comprising Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik and Justice Sardar Tariq that will study a report on missing persons’ cases submitted in court by the Missing Persons Commission (MPC).
According to the MPC report, 3,519 cases out of the 5,349 it received in the current year have been resolved. The commission is currently working on the remaining 1,830 cases, the report added.
Hearing the case, CJP had said that the court had decided to forward all missing persons’ cases to the commission.
In the MPC, officers ranking no lower than brigadier level will represent intelligence agencies; while police will be represented by officials no lower than deputy inspector general level.
The court was informed that high-level meetings attended by the directors general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) had been held to discuss the issue.
“There is a lack of evidence in many cases. Hence, army and police officials would attend commission proceedings,” the CJP had said.
The petitioners, however, argued that while the MCP had ordered the release of many people who had disappeared over the years, none of them had been produced before the commission.
Falak Naz, representing the Defence Ministry, answered the petitioners saying that agencies claim that they do not hold any missing persons whose release has been ordered by the MPC.
Tariq Asad, a lawyer for missing persons, responded that MPC’s orders were not being acted upon as missing persons were not released.
“Why are the missing persons not being produced even though production orders have been issued?” the chief justice had asked.
A Defence Ministry representative had replied that the agencies claim that they are not holding the missing persons, nor do they have any data on them.
“Are you suggesting that we ignore the evidence and take the agencies’ word as final?” Justice Nisar asked. He then added that there were some elements trying to defame the intelligence agencies.
Asad had accused the Counter-Terrorism Department of “picking up people”, arguing that there are several reports that endorse his accusation.
The chief justice had said that he plans to chair a high-level meeting to review the commission’s work. The meeting will be attended by heads of all intelligence agencies, the inspectors general of all four provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.