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SHC irked by quality of investigations for missing persons

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court expressed its dissatisfaction over the quality of the investigation into the recovery of missing citizens.
The court also sought a report from the ministries of defence and interior on the presence of citizens in detention centers in Peshawar and from higher authorities on the progress. A bench, headed by Justice Nematullah Phalphoto, heard petitions seeking the recovery of missing persons.
The court expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of investigation into missing persons cases. Justice Nematullah Phalphoto remarked angrily that there are so many incompetent officers that they cannot get reports from departments in five years.
He said JITs and task force meetings have been held six times. However, the result amounted to nothing, the judge observed.  ”
One should be afraid of the curses of the parents of missing citizens. I do not know what will happen to you,” Justice Phalphoto asserted. The court asked who would find out if anyone had gone to Afghanistan. The SHC directed the SP to conduct his own investigation in the case of Shamim Ara’s son who has been missing for five years.
Read SHC acquits two MQM activists in cops’ murder case
The court remarked that the present investigating officer should be in jail. “Each time the investigating officer copies and pastes old reports, he submits them to the court.” The court sought the travel history of the petitioner’s son Arif Hashmi from the DGFI. It also sought a report from the ministries of defence and interior on the presence of citizens in detention centers of Peshawar
Meanwhile, a petition was filed in the Sindh High Court against the enforced disappearance of Adam Khan, a local who was detained again after his release from jail.
The petitioner took the stand that a court granted bail to Adam Khan on October 11. The after being granted bail, jail authorities released Adam Khan. However, as soon as he was released from prison, plainclothes officers took him into custody.
The court was requested to recover Adam Khan. The home secretary, IG Sindh, DG Rangers, Central Jail superintendent, SSP Sharqi and SHO Jamshed Town were made parties in the petition.
Qasr-e-Fatima to become girls’ college
The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued a written verdict on the hearing of Qasr-e-Fatima which was previously known as Mohatta Palace. The decision consists of 21 pages.
The court said all parties are willing to carry out the will of Fatima Jinnah in the best interest of the people. All parties have agreed to set up a girls’ medical centre at Qasr-e-Fatima.
The written decision suggested that an independent committee be formed to run Qasr-e-Fatima. It will consist of Dr Adib Rizvi, Dr Abdul Bari and petitioner Nazish Aamir. Architect Yasmeen Lari will also join the body to preserve Qasr-e-Fatima’s beauty and cultural status.
It was requested that retired Supreme Court Judge Sarmad Jalal Usmani and retired Sindh High Court Judge Faheem Siddiqui be included in the committee after their consent. The court ordered officials to make a list of all the items present in Qasr-e-Fatima. The SHC ordered a report to be presented, along with the photos of the building, at the next hearing.
According to the verdict, the Sindh government had invested Rs60 million and the figure had now been increased to Rs730 million. The petition asked that the proceeds of the investment should be transferred to the new trust.
Meanwhile, the public prosecutor had given the position that the Sindh government also wanted to participate in the noble cause of setting up a girls’ medical college. “We have no objection to setting up such an institute,” he said.  Further hearing was adjourned November 1.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2021.

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