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Event Title :
Functional Committee on Human Rights
Published Date :
Oct 11,2017

In pursuance to a requisition made by three members of the Functional Committee on Human Rights, a meeting was held today, under chairpersonship of Senator Nasreen Jalil, in Parliament House, Islamabad. The requisite agenda before the committee was to take briefing from Chairman Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED) on progress made so far, issues in enforced disappearances and way forward.

The meeting was attended by Senators Farhatullah Babar, Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Mufti Abdul Sattar, Mir Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahi and Mrs. Sehar Kamran.  

The Senators expressed satisfaction at the briefing given by Chairman CIED Justice Javed Iqbal, who is incumbent Chairman NAB as well. He highlighted that the problem of missing persons was deeply entrenched and sometimes came in purview of international organizations. He believed that Pakistan was not a “Banana Republic”; 38 different laws pertained to terrorism in the country and “indefinite detainment without following legal provisions was an unpardonable crime”. He further stressed that Parliament should take lead and lend hand to executive authority by legislating on sabotage, terrorism, and a parliamentary committee should be made to purview such cases. Moreover, he grieved that the parliamentarians failed to fully discuss the issue of missing persons in the light of involvement by non-state actors and foreign powers adamant to create anarchy in the state.

In explaining the position of enforced disappearances in Khyber PakhtunKhwa province, he mentioned that 793 cases were registered. He said that NADRA should have data of these persons for facilitating the process further. Without names and identification, it was impossible to trace the persons and in addition to this, fake alibis by missing persons, after being found, had maligned the state agencies. He regretted that exaggerated figures were used; some person were taken on account of tribal feuds, rivalry between different warlords and terrorism and that some ministries were cooperative while others did not lend helpful hand in the proceedings of the commission.

He briefed that The Human Right Council had 723 cases on their list, out of which the Commission disposed of 523 cases and with 218 cases the investigation still in process and in Balochistan, the number of dead bodies received were zero. Mr. Javed Iqbal said one plot, Rs. 20-25 Lakh and a job to a family member were granted in terms of compensation to aggrieved families.  

He repeatedly urged that the reports, like Report on Mutilated Dead Bodies by Balochistan High Court Bench, should be made public and the Parliament has the power to take them out, since it is the supreme most institution in Pakistan. On this point, Senator Farhatullah Babar remarked that parliament has done all that it could do and the Commission should, in pursuance of its legal mandate, exercise its right to ask “any institution” for information; summon and enforce the attendance; use international system for help; go to any building; and even ask the Executive authorities for more powers. He expressed disappointment not even a single interim report had been in last 6 years and that “the critical issue was to fix responsibility instead of tracing out the missing persons.” He opined that “our helplessness combined together should become a collective voice for those who were affected”.

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