Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah compared enforced disappearances with treason.
The Chief Justice commented during the IHC hearing on the case of missing journalist Mudassar Naro, a Lahore-based journalist went missing in August 2018, On Friday, reports The News.
Justice Minallah remarked, "Enforced disappearances are treason. It is a case of treason."
He stated that enforced disappearances are not acceptable in a constitutionally governed country. He questioned whether the inability to find Mudassar Naro was the fault of state agencies, saying that the federal and provincial administrations should have looked into the case.
"Can anyone be disappeared without their [federal and provincial governments] will? No," the judge declared. "People going missing is the incompetence of the State. The Executive is responsible if the state agencies are not in control. Why don't we declare the executive responsible for it."
The additional attorney-general and judicial assistant appeared before the court at the outset of the hearing.
The judge went on to say that sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act are applied in the enforced disappearance cases. Hailing from Lahore, Mudassar Naro has been missing since August 20, 2018, when he went to the northern areas with his wife and child.
His artist and activist wife Saddaf Chughtai passed away due to a sudden cardiac arrest, leaving behind their four-year-old son, Sachal.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed deep worry about the situation and has urged an investigation. They have requested Prime Minister Imran Khan and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari to investigate the case.