Karachi [Pakistan], May 28 (ANI): The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday directed Pakistan's Interior Secretary to personally produce details from internment centres about missing persons and recalled an arrest warrant issued earlier against him.
According to Dawn, in the last hearing, the two-judge bench had issued a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of Interior Secretary Yousuf Nasim Khokhar as well as show-cause notices against him in several petitions of missing persons for consistently violating court orders by not filing information from the internment centres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regarding missing persons.
The interior secretary along with the top federal law officer turned up to the court with identical petitions on Thursday and apologised for not complying with earlier orders.
Khokhar claimed that he had full respect for the judiciary and was very much active in finding out whether any of the missing persons from Karachi were held in internment centres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He also produced a list containing names of three persons from Sindh being detained at an internment centre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Noting that the interior secretary already had a copy of the list of missing persons whose petitions were pending before the SHC, the bench must ensure that a report was submitted showing if any missing persons from the list were held in internment centres at the next hearing, reported Dawn.
It further directed the interior secretary to be in attendance on August 24 along with required documents and recalled the non-bailable warrant issued against him.
The two-judge headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha urged the authorities concerned to appoint a chairperson of the national commission of human rights prior to the next hearing.
It also asked an official of Pakistan's foreign ministry to provide accurate information to the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances to avoid unwarranted criticism of the country.
As in preceding years, Pakistan witnessed substantial human rights violations in 2020, from forced conversions of religious minorities and crimes against women to enforced disappearances and curbs on freedom of expression, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said in its annual report.
On the issue of enforced disappearances, the report said, "Since the inception of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (COIED), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has topped the list in terms of numbers of missing persons. At end-December 2020, the total number of cases registered in the province stood at 2,942." (ANI)