Amidst charges that several people have been abducted by the ISI and Military Intelligence (MI) for interrogation, Pakistan's Defence Ministry has washed its hands off the controversy claiming it had no operational control over these agencies to verify allegations of illegal abduction and detention.
Replying to a spate of petitions filed in the Sindh High Court alleging abduction of a number of people by the two secret agencies, the Ministry of Defence said it exercised only administrative control over the ISI and MI, and does not have any operational control or jurisdiction to enforce the court's direction on these agencies.
In response to a court's directive in connection with petitions relating to abduction of six persons, an official of the ministry informed the court on Tuesday that his ministry cannot enforce court orders, as it had no administrative control on the two agencies.
The ministry could only pass on every direction received from the court to the said agencies for strict compliance, Lt Col Khalid Iqbal Sahoo, Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Pakistan Army, told the court.
He said the agencies were asked to locate and produce the said detainees before the court and they maintained that the said detainees were neither apprehended nor wanted in any case and they were not even in their custody. He said no trace of the detainees had so far been found, the media here reported.
The Defence Ministry official submitted that the task of locating and recovering missing persons did not fall within their purview and they did not have the mandate for the ground-check in such cases.