Justice Athar Minallah Suggests State Involved In Enforced Disappearances

Justice Athar Minallah Suggests State Involved In Enforced Disappearances
Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah has said that the state seems to be involved in the disappearance of hundreds of dissidents, given the proliferation of internment camps across the country.

During a hearing on Monday regarding missing journalist Mudassir Naru as well as other missing persons, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Qasim Wudood denied the chief judge's claim, saying that the state had 'no such policy' and confirmed that at least 800 people were recorded as missing.

In response, Counsel Inam Rahim refuted the AAG's estimates, claiming that more than 2,252 people had gone missing across the country, and the bodies of 221 missing persons had already been returned to their families, deceased. The Counsel also said that the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances should investigate these missing persons cases.

AAG Wudood said that the matter had already been presented before the cabinet, which will meet on Tuesday, particularly in regards to the case of missing person Maira Saijid.

The IHC directed the commission to submit a report on the matter at the next hearing on 28 February. It also requested the terms of reference (TOR) for the same commission.

Mudassir Naru was a writer, poet and journalist. He went missing in August of 2018 while on vacation with his family in Kaghan.  In 2021, his wife died in her sleep, leaving the couple's only son, who is four-years-old, to live with his grandparents.  Naru's whereabouts remain unknown.