The Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan said that Riaz Hanif Rahi, a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, has gone ‘missing’.
Rahi was the petitioner in the cases filed against the Supreme Court Review of Judgement Bill and the Audio Leaks Commission. He had also challenged General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension during the Imran Khan government.
“We express our deep concern and call for immediate action,” a SCBAP statement said on Thursday.
“The Association cannot turn a blind eye towards the disappearance of one of its members as it raises serious concerns about the safety and security of the lawyers who play a crucial role in safeguarding the fundamental rights of individuals, ensuring access to justice and upholding the principles of democracy.”
The statement also said that every citizen of the country is entitled to fundamental rights and no one is allowed to violate them.
“As such his disappearance amounts to a grave violation of fundamental and human rights,” the statement said.
The statement also called upon law enforcement agencies to locate Rahi and ensure his ‘immediate safe return’.
He is affiliated with two organisations named ‘City Council’ and ‘The Jurist Foundation’. The petition against the army chief’s extension had been filed through his organisations.
The disappearance of lawyers, journalists, and social activists has been a lingering problem in Pakistan’s political landscape. Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir were recently ‘picked up’ by plain clothesmen as he returned home with his wife. The police denied his whereabouts but Jibran returned home a day later, with still no answer as to who had picked him up.