ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was approached for setting up of a commission to investigate custodial deaths in military or paramilitary detention over the last five years.

Perturbed over the death of MQM leader Farooq Sattar’s driver Aftab Ahmed in Rangers’ custody on May 3, Rasheeda Ameer, a resident of Rahim Yar Khan, filed a constitutional petition under Article 184(3) of Constitution. Her husband Rana Ameer Ahmed was also killed in custody of law enforcement agencies in Lakki Marwat in July 2015 after he was picked up from Rahim Yar Khan.

Rasheeda alleged that the frequency of deaths occurring in military and paramilitary detention centers is significantly higher than the provincial prisons departments.

“This situation poses a real danger to the fundamental rights of the thousands of citizens who are already interned by the military paramilitary forces and the millions of others who could potentially be interned.”

She stated that the situation warrants intervention by the Supreme Court in order to remove the structural and systemic causes of the abuse of fundamental rights in the detention facilities.

She questioned when any person dies in state custody, can it be presumed that a cognizable offence is made out and a police investigation against the custodial authorities is warranted? In such a situation, should the onus of getting an FIR registered lie on the custodial authority itself or upon the heirs of the victim?

Rasheeda made DG Pakistan Rangers and federation through Secretary Ministry of Interior, Secretary Ministry of Defence, and Internment Authority, Interment Center Lakki Marwat as respondents.

She prayed an independent audit of all the detention facilities under the command of military and paramilitary forces be conducted for eradicating the alleged culture of torturing inmates.