In a recent hearing at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Chief Justice Aamer Farooq expressed deep concern and embarrassment over the unresolved missing persons’ cases that have plagued Pakistan for several years. The issue came to the forefront during a hearing in which journalist Mudassir Naru’s case was discussed. Naru had disappeared during a trip to the northern areas, and his wife had filed a case five years ago before her passing. Now, their son is actively participating in the court proceedings.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, alongside Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, presided over the division bench. Both justices acknowledged that enforced disappearances were not only a matter of grave concern but also tarnishing Pakistan’s international image. They sought assistance from the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) to address this pressing issue.
Lawyer Faisal Siddiqui, representing the petitioners, presented a comprehensive report that highlighted the relief sought by the families of the missing persons. Some of these requests, it was noted, may be beyond the jurisdiction of the IHC. This raised the critical question of how to address the issue effectively within the legal framework.
Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb displayed empathy for one petitioner who had been searching for his two missing sons for a considerable period. He emphasized the gravity of the issue, which not only causes immense suffering to the affected families but also brings disrepute to the nation. Justice Aurangzeb pointed out that the AGP should meet with the caretaker prime minister to discuss this matter, highlighting that a former prime minister had previously addressed the court on enforced disappearances but had failed to take meaningful action.
The Additional Attorney General conveyed the government’s seriousness in forming a committee to address the issue of missing persons. However, Chief Justice Aamer Farooq emphasized that while intentions were commendable, what was needed now were concrete results. The court issued a notice to the AGP, urging the government to take immediate and effective action to resolve these cases.
The recent hearing at the Islamabad High Court shed light on the growing concern over unresolved missing persons’ cases in Pakistan. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb expressed embarrassment over the situation and emphasized that it was tarnishing the nation’s image. They called upon the Attorney General for Pakistan to take proactive steps in addressing this issue, suggesting a meeting with the caretaker prime minister.
The empathy displayed by the justices for the affected families highlighted the human suffering and anguish that persists due to enforced disappearances. While the government has shown commitment in forming a committee, the court stressed the need for tangible results to put an end to this long-standing problem.
As Pakistan grapples with this challenging issue, the hope is that concerted efforts from the government, legal authorities, and the judiciary will lead to the resolution of missing persons’ cases and provide much-needed closure to the affected families.