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Crimes won't end if foreigners keep enjoying immunity: SC

17 July, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that crimes would never come to an end if foreigners continued to enjoy immunity in Pakistan.

The court observed it was imperative for all the international organisations, including the United Nations, to cooperate with the Pakistani investigating agencies probing a particular matter while using the powers guaranteed by the Pakistani Constitution.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, resumed hearing in the missing persons case.

The court directed SP Lahore Shahzad Bukhari to call the representative of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to his office regarding the investigation of missing Mudassar Iqbal and submit the compliance report before it on July 24. Mudassar Iqbal had gone missing from Lahore some three years back. Additional Attorney General Tariq Mahmood Khokar, Additional Advocate General Punjab Malik Faisal and SP Lahore Shahzad Bukhari appeared before the court.

Tariq Mahmood Khokar placed on record a letter from Neill Wright, acting UN Resident Coordinator, on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, apologising to SP Lahore Shahzad Bukhari for any inconvenience at the office of the UN resident coordinator.

It was stated that since the case report had not been shared by the UN in Geneva with the UN in Pakistan at that time, and since the apex court's directives to the SP were unknown to the UN in Pakistan, the resident coordinator was unaware of the issues at hand.

The court was assured that the resident coordinator's office will assist in moving forward on this matter and advised the additional attorney general to contact the resident coordinator's office on any further issues regarding this report.

During the hearing, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja recalled that earlier Zaman, an employee of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, had spotted the missing Mudassar Iqbal in a detention centre and later on a case was registered on this evidence.

Justice Jawwad further observed that if a soldier on behalf of Pakistan visit any international organisation in connection with an investigation by exercising the constitutional powers, it is imperative for that international organisation to extend cooperation to the said investigation officer."We would not tolerate insult of an officer of SP rank at the hands of any international organisation," Justice Jawwad remarked.

"Go and use all your constitutional powers and call the representative of the UN Group at your office for investigation regarding missing Mudassar Iqbal and submit report before us on July 24," Justice Jawwad asked Shehzad Bukhari.

During the hearing, mother of missing Mudassar Iqbal thanked the apex court for taking up the case of her missing son."Bibi, your son will come Inshallah," Justice Jawwad told the depressed mother.

Agencies add: The Supreme Court gave one week time to the lawyer of Military Intelligence (MI) Ibrahim Satti for preparation in the case of a missing person, Tasif Malik.

The wife of missing Tasif, Abida Malik, had moved the court for the recovery of her husband.The chief justice remarked that why charges are being levelled against secret agencies of the country on daily basis. He said if the intelligence agencies acted against the suspects according to the law, the situation would have been different.

Ibrahim Satti told the court that Attorney General Munir A Malik gave wrong statement in the court that legal proceedings may be started against the army officers and they might also be arrested."As a matter of fact, cases can be registered against the people belonging to armed services under Army Act only. The civilian department cannot arrest them," the lawyer said.


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