Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

PHC told 700 missing persons shifted to internment centres

Bureau Report 2013-12-11
PESHAWAR, Dec 10: Around 700 `missing persons` have been shifted to the notified internment centres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) during the last few months, according to a report produced in the Peshawar High Court on Tuesday.

While submitting the 25-page report of the Task Force on Missing Persons to a bench comprising Justice Mian Fasihul Mulk and Justice Musarrat Hilali, Deputy Attorney General Muzamil Khan said 643 people were shifted to internment centres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 64 to such centres in tribal areas.

He said members of the task force formed by the interior minister in July 2013 had visited internment centres to verify the information about internees.

Hearing 425 habeas corpus petitions related to enforced disappearance, the bench directed the DAG to match the names of the detainees mentioned in the petitions with thosepointed out in the report to know how many `missing persons` had been shifted to the internment centres.

It later fixed the next hearing into the cases for Jan 14, asking the DAG to provide the report to the court after conducting tally of the names.

The bench also ordered the government to ensure that internees meet relatives on a regular basis.

According to the task force`s report, those kept in different internment centres of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa include 195 in PAITHOM (Pak-Austrian Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management), Swat; 72 in Fizaghat, Swat; 331 in Lakki Marwat; 35 in Kohat and 10 in Malakand.

Similarly, of the 64 detainees in Fata, 27 are kept in Ghalania, Mohmand Agency; 10 in Fort Slop, Khyber Agency; six in Landi Kotal, Khyber Agency; three in Alizai, Kurram Agency; one in Parachinar, Kurram Agency; three in Khar, Bajaur Agency, and 14 in Miramshah, North Waziristan Agency.

The report said the medical condition of the internees in question was satisfactory.Lawyer Shahnawaz Khan said he could voluntarily conduct verification of the lists provided by the task force with the names of the detainees to ascertain how many missing persons had been shifted to the centres.

The bench observed that it would be appropriate that the DAG conduct the exercise.

The federal government was represented by DAGs Muzamil Khan and Farooq Shah, while additional advocates general Mian Arshad Jan and Waqar Ahmad represented the provincial government.

In Oct 2013, PHC Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan had directed the Task Force on Missing Persons to produce a detailed report of its performance.

According to an official notification, the additional interior secretary is the head of the task force, which consists of home secretaries of provinces, additional inspectors general police and representatives of the Inter Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence.

Meanwhile, the bench also adjourned hearing of a case of a missing prisoner, whose body was found ingunnysack a few days ago.

Petitioner Zahidullah said his brother Rohullah was taken away by personnel of intelligence agencies on Sept 6 from outside the Peshawar Central Prison when he was freed on bail.

Jalaluddin Akber Gara, lawyer for the petitioner, said the missing person had been killed before his body was dumped in Khyber Agency near Peshawar.

He said three brothers and mother of the detainee were also arrested along with him by the local police on charges of possession of explosive material, but they were acquitted by the anti-terrorism court.

He, however, said the deceased was charged in another case and was kept imprisoned before being freed.

The bench observed thatif the petitioner wished, it would order registration of FIR of the killing of the missing person against the persons named.

The lawyer said he would consult his client before apprising the court of his reply.

Later, the bench adjourned the hearing into the case until Jan 14.