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‘Who is responsible for enforced disappearances; is there state within state?’ asks Justice Minallah

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  • IHC CJ says no efforts being made for missing persons’ recovery.
  • Justice asks what is govt committee doing for their recovery.
  • He adds PM should make it clear whether he is helpless or not.

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked Friday who was responsible for enforced disappearances of people and wondered whether there was a “state operating within the state.”

Justice Minallah’s questions came during the hearing relating to the disappearance of journalist Muadassir Naro and five other people, where the deputy attorney-general appeared before the court.

The IHC chief justice asked the deputy attorney-general that in the court’s previous order, the relevant authorities were asked to produce the disappeared people. “Where are they?”

At this, the deputy attorney-general told the IHC that the federal government has constituted a committee for the missing persons and the relevant investigation agencies are employing efforts to recover them.

“Don’t involve this court in the matters of committees. Tell me whether you will implement the [orders] or not? Where is the federal government?” the justice asked.

The IHC CJ said people are being picked up every day and nothing is being done about it.

He added that in the previous order, the court asked the federal government to issue notices to ex-president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and the prime ministers succeeding him.

“Where are the notices and their affidavits?” he asked.

Read more: Nothing more painful than state’s own involvement in crime, says IHC CJ

In the order issued last month, the IHC directed the federal government to serve notices to Musharraf and all other successors — the former prime ministers, including the incumbent holder of the office.

The IHC CJ noted that the matter of missing persons was “gravely serious” and the “attitude of the federal government was not commendable”. He asked whether the constituted committee holds meetings.

Justice Minallah said if the court’s order continues to go unheard, then the incumbent interior minister and the former interior ministers will be summoned. The IHC CJ went on to say how would it feel like if the court summons the chief executive — the prime minister.

IHC’s top judge said that all the governments were violating their oath when the matter of missing persons should be among the top priorities for the national leadership. 

In response to the IHC CJ, the deputy attorney-general said in the next hearing, the government’s stance would be presented as to what it is doing for the recovery of missing persons.

“No efforts are being employed for the recovery of missing persons,” the IHC chief justice lamented. He added that although just for show, the federal cabinet constituted a committee for the missing person, what efforts have they employed so far.

The IHC CJ asked who should be held responsible for the missing persons and questioned whether there was a “state operating within a state”.

“There are allegations levelled against the police, Intelligence Bureau (IB), the intelligence agencies of armed forces. There are several missing persons, tell me, which of these agencies has picked them up?”

The IHC CJ said the prime minister should either say that he is helpless and if he is not, then the Constitution of Pakistan will hold him responsible.

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The Pakistan Army’s pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan

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Along with the province administration, the Pakistan Army has played a key role in leading a number of socioeconomic projects. A determined effort has been undertaken to solve the issues and utilise the potential of the province, realising the intrinsic relationship between the development of Balochistan and the advancement of Pakistan overall.

In the face of security problems, the Pakistan Army has adopted a multipronged strategy that includes peacekeeping as well as socioeconomic development. By means of focused awareness initiatives, communities have been motivated to seize mainstream chances, which has resulted in the voluntary surrender of militants and opened the door to a peaceful cohabitation.

The Army and the Balochistani administration have placed a high priority on the construction of educational facilities, particularly in outlying areas, recognising the role that education plays as a catalyst for advancement. By equipping the public with the knowledge and skills necessary for a better future, this strategic focus seeks to free the people from the hold of extremism.

In addition, the Pakistan Army’s unflinching security has helped to usher in a new era of growth, supported by strategic initiatives like the Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Army’s actions to protect CPEC projects have received international recognition, and the Chinese Minister of National Defence has praised them for their commitment to regional peace.

The Reko Diq project is a highly promising venture that has the potential to become the largest gold and copper mine globally. This grand project has the potential to reduce Pakistan’s debt load and spark massive economic expansion, drawing in international capital and improving the nation’s economic prospects.

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$13.44 billion in liquid foreign reserves

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The State Bank’s foreign reserves were $8,040.3 million, whereas Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the week ending April 5, 2024, were US$ 13,441.7 million.

The State Bank of Pakistan said that during the week under review, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $0.1 million to $8,040.3 million in a statement released here on Monday.

It further stated that commercial banks’ net foreign reserves were reported to be $5,401.4 million.

The nation’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the previous week, which concluded on March 29, 2024, were $13,378.9 million.

These included the $8,040.4 million in foreign reserves held by the central bank and the $5,338.5 million in net foreign reserves held by commercial banks.

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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