Defence ministry may seek SC verdict review


ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: The Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday that it might seek a review of the Supreme Court verdict in the case of 35 missing persons. “We are waiting for the detailed judgment of the honourable court so as to be able to analyse it after which we may go for a review petition which is our legal right,” a defence ministry official said after the verdict held that the military authorities had unlawfully taken away detainees from an internment centre.

The official said it had been a consistent position of the ministry that these persons were not held by the army or intelligence agencies. He recalled that of the 12 persons traced so far, seven had been presented in the court. None of them was in the custody of the military or intelligence agencies.

The official said that in its review petition the ministry might again call for constituting a fact-finding commission to look into the matter by visiting the internment centres. He said the defence ministry had made the proposal during the course of proceedings in the case, but it was apparently ignored.

He said efforts were still continuing to locate the remaining persons, some of whom might have settled in tribal areas or moved to neighbouring Afghanistan.

“Further efforts are in hand to locate the remaining persons in the list. Unsubstantiated information about the location of some more individuals has been found and search for them is ongoing. Some of these persons are reported in North Waziristan while some ran away to Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan,” the official said.

The Supreme Court verdict ordered the government to produce all missing persons before it in seven days and take action against those involved in unlawful detentions.