Govt Should Resign If Subordinate Institutions Not Under Control Chief Justice Athar Minallah lambasted the government for having “no control over subsidiary institutions” as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared before the IHC on Friday in missing persons case.
Earlier in July, the court had given the incumbent government till early September to recover six missing persons, including journalist Mudassar Naro, and present them before the court, warning that in case of non-recovery, the premier will have to appear in person at the next hearing.
Govt Should Resign If Subordinate Institutions Not Under Control
During the hearing of the case earlier today, CJ Minallah stated that “it [missing persons] is a serious issue” as he explained why the PM had been called to the court.
“The matter has been pending in court for several months now,” he added as he expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s inaction on the issue.
The court said that as the chief executive the responsibility to address enforced disappearances lies with him.
Acknowledging the committee formed by PM Shehbaz and his efforts, the court went on to express deep concern saying “this is not an issue for a committee”.
“No issue is larger than this one before the court,” remarked the judge confessing that the Baloch students’ issues were “most disturbing” and that enforced disappearances were a matter of going against the constitution. The court also regretted the impression that state agencies were involved in the disappearances.
“This court will ensure civil supremacy,” said CJ Minallah as he regretted that PM Shehbaz had to appear before the court.
Taking Responsibility Over The Matter
PM Shehbaz said that he had been busy visiting flood-affected areas but added that he did not “want to hide behind any excuses”.
The prime minister said that he had met with the families of the missing persons as he reminisced on one child in particular that had appealed to him to recover his father.
“It is my responsibility that I find this child’s father,” he said, adding that “his question pains me every day”.
“I am answerable to the people of Pakistan,” he said as he informed the court that the concerned committee had met six times and also contacted the relevant authorities. He also assured the court that he would personally check on the committee’s performance in two weeks’ time.
He also assured the court he would come before it whenever asked.
The premier also said that he could empathise with the families as he had himself been to jail and his own family had suffered the same pain.
The court said that the issue was that those holding the office deny any responsibility, “if you can’t solve the issue why don’t you leave office?”.
The IHC accepted the request of the law minister and granted two months’ time for taking action, and gave the federal government the opportunity to take action on the missing persons cases.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing of the missing persons cases till November 14.