Human Rights

IHC send notices to Musharraf, IK and Shebaz to produce missing persons or appear before court

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the government to issue notices to former President General Pervez Musharraf, former Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and the current PM Shahbaz Sharif for following an “undeclared tacit approval of the policy regarding enforced disappearances.”

The court directed that the federal government shall produce the missing persons before the court on June 17 or justify the failure of the state to effectively investigate.

IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Justice Athar Minallah said, “Musharraf and all other successor chief executives [PM Shahbaz and Khan] shall submit their respective affidavits explaining why the court may not order proceedings against them for alleged subversion of the Constitution in the context of undeclared tacit approval of the policy regarding enforced disappearances and thus putting national security at risk by allowing the involvement of law enforcement agencies, particularly the armed forces.”

The court also noted that the involvement or even a perception of the involvement of the armed forces in acts “amounting to a violation of human rights and freedom of the citizens weakens and undermines the rule of law.”

On Sunday, the high court issued a 15-page order in a case related to the disappearance of journalist Mudassar Mahmood Naro and five other people after their petitions were in their final phases, but the federal government requested an “adjournment.”

The court also noted the fact that how the Pakistani media ignores this form of abuse and that reporting on the matter is not a priority. Moreover, the court also expressed dissatisfaction over the role of parliament in regard to the disappearances. It said that “they are the most important and crucial organs of the state but nothing has been placed on record to indicate that they may have adopted a proactive role to fulfill their Constitutional obligations.”

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