ISLAMABAD: There is a need for new legislation to enable authorities to hold someone responsible for enforced disappearances. At the same time, the extent of the issue is being confused by activists such as Mama Qadeer, who could not back up his claims regarding the number of missing persons. These were among the comments made by Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances head Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday. He was sharing details of the committee’s performance before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights. Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM) Nasreen Jalil chaired the meeting. PHC seeks reports of 10 missing persons every week “Despite challenges, we have disposed of 2,899 cases out of a total of 4,329 cases received by the commission… We are currently processing 1,386 cases,” he said. A host of problems, he said, could be resolved if the parliament modified relevant sections the Criminal Procedures Code. Parliament, he said, should play a proactive role by empowering the committee. Nobody, he pointed out, had asked former president Pervez Musharraf when he extradited more than 2,000 Pakistanis to foreign countries despite the fact that the country had terrorism laws and regulations. “This is not a banana republic … Nobody has bothered to … hold him accountable for what he did,” he said. Missing persons details to be given in three days He also lamented that he was being blamed for not making the Abbottabad Commission Report public. “Only the government and the parliament can decide to make it public,” he [Read More…]
After 2,000 gruelling kilometres on the road, a band of families led by 72-year-old Mama Qadeer reached the end of their protest march over missing relatives in the federal capital on Friday.
They are the relatives of people who have disappeared in Pakistan’s troubled southwestern province Balochistan, allegedly at the hands of the country’s security services.
About 20 to 30 marchers, led by a retired banker known as Mama Qadeer, hoped to present a petition to UN officials in Islamabad and meet foreign diplomats to raise awareness of their cause.
“We want to tell (the world) that people are being kidnapped every day in Balochistan, districts are being bombarded and almost every day we are receiving mutilated bodies,” Qadir said.
“We have no more hope in the Pakistani government, which is why we want to talk to international organisations, so they can apply pressure.”Qadeer’s son Jalil Reki, a member of the Baloch Republican Party which is suspected of links to the armed insurgency, was found shot dead in 2011 after going missing.
The marchers set out from Quetta last October, walking first 700 kilometres to Karachi, on the shores of the Arabian Sea, before turning their steps northwards to Islamabad, nestling in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Balochistan, the size of Italy and rich in copper, gold and natural gas, is Pakistan’s largest but least populous province. It is also the least developed, which has exacerbated a long-running ethnic Baloch separatist movement that wants more autonomy and a greater share of its mineral wealth.
Rights groups accuse the military and intelligence agencies of kidnapping and killing suspected Baloch rebels before leaving their bodies by the roadside.
According to Human Rights Watch, more than 300 people have suffered this fate, known as “kill and dump”, in Balochistan since January 2011.
The security services deny the allegations and say they are battling a fierce rebellion in the province.
The Supreme Court has also been investigating cases of missing people in Balochistan, issuing warnings to the government to recover these people.