Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Supreme court returns petition on enforced disappearances

Islamabad, 12 November, 2023 (GNP): The Supreme Court has returned a petition filed by senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan against enforced disappearances, citing it as an “individual grievance” and not raising any question of public importance.

Filed on October 25, the application sought the court’s intervention against the “illegal and unlawful practice of enforced disappearances,

” particularly of political leaders. Aitzaz Ahsan, represented by Advocate Sardar Latif Khosa, urged the court to direct provincial governments to submit a list of “missing persons”

in state custody and identify law enforcement agencies involved.

The Supreme Court’s registrar office, in returning the petition, noted that it was filed under Article 184(3), which grants the court extraordinary jurisdiction to address matters involving violations of fundamental rights.

Also Read: Tareen’s Istehkam-i-Pakistan party vows to forge a ‘Naya Pakistan’

However, the registrar office stated that the petition lacked clarity on the questions of public importance related to the enforcement of fundamental rights.

The court emphasized that the petitioner invoked its extraordinary jurisdiction to address an “individual grievance,” which is not permissible without justification for not approaching any other forum before filing the case.

In his petition, Aitzaz Ahsan highlighted that victims of enforced disappearances included journalists, politicians, bureaucrats, and other government critics.

The document referred to specific cases, including the disappearance of Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid and current and former PTI leaders.

The petitioner urged the court to declare enforced disappearances as a constitutional violation, citing violations of various provisions of the Constitution, including articles 4, 9, 10, 14, 19, and 25.