Islamabad High Court (IHC) summoned Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar for the third time on Monday in the case of the missing Baloch students. The court’s orders came before adjourning today’s hearing until February 28.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, heading the bench, emphasized during the hearing that the caretaker prime minister should not perceive appearing in court as an insult.

He urged PM Kakar to prioritize appearing before the court rather than attending to other commitments, stating, “No one is above the law here.”

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Expressing disappointment over PM Kakar’s absence, Justice Kayani reminded Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan of the prime minister’s previous failure to attend court proceedings. The judge also inquired about the whereabouts of other caretaker ministers and secretaries.

The judge highlighted that today was the 24th hearing in the case.

“The petition was filed in 2022 and a commission had been formed. It took us two years to recover our citizens who did not even have any criminal case registered against them.

“There was no case against them — including any drug, murder, or theft case — let alone a terror case,” Justice Kayani noted. He observed that “no documents or information” was shared with the court in the past two years.

Addressing AGP Awan, he said, “You had submitted an affidavit that no person would go missing after today. [Yet] a person is missing from Islamabad’s F-6 without a first information report against him.

“The purpose of summoning the prime minister was to inquire why the state’s premier is failing in his duties,” the IHC judge said.

Interior Secretary Aftab Durrani eventually appeared before the court, addressing some concerns raised during the hearing.

Previously, Justice Kayani issued a written order summoning PM Kakar, along with the defense and interior ministers and their respective secretaries, to ensure their physical presence in today’s hearing.

During the hearing, Justice Kayani highlighted the ongoing struggle to recover missing individuals in the country, particularly the unresolved case of the 12 missing Baloch students.

He pressed the Attorney General for details regarding ongoing criminal cases and the responsibility of state institutions in enforced disappearances.

Concerns were raised about the inability of successive governments to address the issue adequately. Justice Kayani proposed forming an inquiry committee comprising representatives from relevant institutions to investigate the matter thoroughly.

The judge also criticized the notion of granting exemptions to certain institutions and emphasized the importance of accountability.

This is the second time PM Kakar has been summoned by the IHC. Previously, he was called upon on November 22, 2023, in a case filed by Advocate Imaan Mazari, but was unable to attend as he was out of the country.