The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to ensure the safe recovery of missing persons whose cases are being heard in the high court, adding that he will be summoned to the court on September 9 if they are not recovered till then.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the summon to the Prime Minister during a hearing about the abduction of journalist Mudassar Mahmood Naro and five others, according to a report by Dawn.
Previously, the IHC had issued notices to former military dictator retired General Pervez Musharraf and his successors, as well as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, to question them over the policy of enforced disappearance ‘tacitly approved’ by them.
Justice Minallah had also warned during the last hearing of the case, that the court could summon the country’s premier for an explanation over the government’s failure to recover missing persons.
Justice Minallah on Monday asked Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Khawaja Imtiaz reasons for the government’s failure to comply with the court order.
“It is noted that the existence of the grave phenomenon of enforced disappearances and impunity against it has never been denied but the state, through the federal government, has so far failed to dispel the impression that it is an undeclared policy,” the chief justice noted.
He warned that failure by the prime minister to ensure the safe and swift recovery of missing persons by the next hearing on September 9 would result in him being summoned to the court to justify and explain “the failure of the state to fulfill its constitutional obligations”.
“The prime minister is further expected to demonstrably establish that the phenomenon of enforced disappearances is not an undeclared policy of the state,” Justice Minallah noted.