Constitution lends cover to army actions, says lawyer

ISLAMABAD: A lawyer representing the Military Intelligence said before a Supreme Court bench on Thursday that the armed forces enjoyed a special status in the constitution and their actions were also protected under the ‘green book’.
Advocate Ibrahim Satti argued before the three-judge bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja that the law relating to the army could not be declared void by the apex court on the grounds that some of its provisions violated the fundamental rights. He said the oath of the armed forces required them to defend the constitution and also remain loyal and demonstrate true allegiance to Pakistan.
The bench had taken up an application of Abida Malik seeking a court order for production of her husband Tasif Ali alias Danish who went missing on Nov 23, 2011, and was allegedly picked up by Major Haider of the MI.
The matter was reported to the Sadiqabad police station on Dec 5. The Lahore High Court heard the case on March 19, but dismissed it.
In a reply submitted to the court, the MI had said that army personnel and a subject under the Army Act 1952 could not be investigated by any court, not even the apex court, or police.
The court observed that every citizen had a special status in the constitution and everyone was loyal to the state.
Mr Satti said more than 500 suicide attacks had taken place in the country and alleged that many of these suicide bombers might be the missing persons.
The court observed that the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) put no restriction on the police to register cases against serving officers of the armed forces.
The counsel said many applications on the missing persons pending before the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance or the apex court were an attempt to ridicule the armed forces. The officers of the armed forces were performing their duties to safeguard the country’s borders.
Attorney General Muneer A. Malik is likely to argue on the application on Friday.
Meanwhile, Ziaullah who had visited his brother Saifullah at the internment centre in Lakki Marwat on Wednesday informed the court that he was living in a miserable condition.
He said Saifullah told him he remained hungry because he was given only one bread a day. “After seeing my brother in such a miserable condition I wish I had not met him,” he said.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, a member of the bench, asked Additional Attorney General Tariq Khosa why he did not tell the authorities of internment centres to abide by law as it was their duty to provide basic facilities to the inmates.
The court indicated that it would order production of the detained persons for examining their conditions.

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