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Govt gets two months for resolving missing persons issue

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PM Shehbaz appears before Islamabad High Court, consoles young son of missing journalist
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Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah has said that provincial chief executives are also responsible for people going missing.

The justice made the conversation as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared before the court in the missing person case on Friday.

The court has granted two months’ time to the federal government to resolve the issue.

The premier offered consolation to the young son of journalist Mudassar Naro, who remains missing since 2018.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the court now wanted to issue a ruling on the issue of missing persons.

We have already said that the disappearance of people is against the constitution, the justice said.

Shehbaz Sharif said that he will not evade his responsibility under any lame excuse.

The prime minister told the court that Naro’s son has urged him to find his father.

“This is too disturbing. God knows who has made the child’s father disappear, but finding him is my responsibility. I assure the court that I will do my best to find the missing person,” Shehbaz Sharif said.

The court said that the federal government failed to listen to the families of missing persons. The court wants the issue to be solved and this is the reason that it asked the prime minister to appear before it, Justice Minallah said.

Addressing the prime minister, Justice Minallah said that it was a major issue but the state failed to react in the way it should have.

The justice said that the situation was too complex and that unfortunately, a person who remained chief executive of the country for nine years wrote that people were picked up and sent to other countries. This shows that it was a state policy, said Justice Minallah.

He also said that the court appreciated the fact that the current government has formed a cabinet committee on the issue.

The Islambad High Court has been hearing the petition filed by the relatives of Naro and other missing persons since the days when the country was under the PTI. Then-Prime Minister Imran Khan also appeared before the court once in the same case.

The prime minister was accompanied to the court by Infomation Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and Law Minister Azam Tarar.

Before the prime minister arrived at the court, authorities beefed up security at the court and around it. Streets were closed using barbed wires and barriers.

Meanwhile, an eight-member cabinet committee on missing persons has visited Quetta, where the committee members met with protesters who had staged a sit-in since July 21. After the meeting, the protesters ended the sit-in.
 

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