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Enforced disappearances: ‘Let’s solve this problem once and for all,’ CJP Isa remarks

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa emphasized the Supreme Court’s commitment to resolving the issue of missing persons and enforced disappearances “once and for all.”

He stated that the collaboration of all stakeholders is essential to solving the problem and making Pakistan internally strong, asserting that a strong Pakistan can resist external pressures.

The remarks came during a hearing of petitions related to missing persons, with one application filed by former senator and lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan.

The lawyer urged the court to declare enforced disappearances as violative of several constitutional articles and to find the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances non-compliant with legal and international standards.

The CJP inquired about the commission of inquiry, and the lawyer highlighted its shortcomings, stating that over 2,200 people are still missing, and the commission has not adequately fulfilled its responsibilities.

During the hearing, the lawyer raised the issue of missing political activists, and the CJP cautioned against making the matter political.

The lawyer also mentioned cases of Baloch students facing short-term disappearances, and the CJP expressed surprise that the current protest in Islamabad was not mentioned in the petition.

The hearing was adjourned, and the CJP instructed the lawyer to prepare bullet points on the court’s potential actions.

He also urged against politicizing the matter and asked the Attorney General for Pakistan to be briefed on the proceedings.

Meanwhile, Baloch protesters called for a nationwide shutter down demonstration on January 3, expressing dissatisfaction with the government’s response to their demands, including an end to enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan.

disappearances

The protesters had given the government a seven-day ultimatum, and caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar criticized those supporting the protests, suggesting they join Baloch militants if they believed in their cause. Baloch activists reiterated their commitment to peaceful protests and called for international attention to their cause.

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