Nation special report
ISLAMABAD: Amnesty International has urged the government of Pakistan to take all measures to ensure an end to the practice of enforced disappearances that have long been a stain on the south Asian country’s ‘human rights record’.Despite the pledges of successive governments to criminalize the practice, there has been slow movement on legislation while people continue to go missing with impunity, as per a statement issued by Amnesty International.
The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (COIED) has 2178
cases unresolved as of now. As per the Commission’s recent monthly report 48
cases disposed of in the month of January 2019, included 46 traced persons out
of which 29 were returned home, 10 were traced to internment centers, five are
in jails on terrorism charges and two were described as “dead
The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance has more than 700 cases pending from Pakistan.The number of cases of victims of enforced disappearance recorded by victim groups are much higher. Victim groups and the civil society have serious concerns with regards to the effectiveness of Pakistan’s COIED, primarily because it is not using its powers to investigate and hold the perpetrators accountable and that it does not have civil society or the victim groups representation on its board.
The Amnesty International said the groups and individuals targeted in enforced disappearances in Pakistan include people from Sindhi, Baloch, Pashtun ethnicities, the Shia community, political activists, human rights defenders, members and supporters of religious and nationalist groups, suspected members of armed groups, and proscribed religious and political organisations in Pakistan.
In some cases, persons are openly taken into custody by the police or intelligence agencies, and families trying to find out where they are held are denied information by the authorities.
“Some victims are eventually released or their whereabouts are disclosed to their families but they continue to be held in arbitrary detention including in internment camps. Those forcibly disappeared are also at risk of torture and death during captivity,” read the statement.
The government of new Prime Minister Imran Khan has said it is committed to criminalizing enforced disappearances. In January 2019, Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights submitted a draft bill to the Ministry of Law and Justice to criminalize enforced disappearances, through an amendment in the Pakistan Penal Code.
Shireen Mazari, the Minister of Human Rights has also stated that the government wants to sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Balochwarna News has claimed that Pakistani FC and military carried out offensives in different areas of district Kech and Panjgur Balochistan and abducted at least thirteen people in past less than 24 hours.
According to details, Pakistan forces raids in Sangabad area of Tejaban village in Turbat and abducted at least nine people on Monday. The abductees have been named as Musa son Bujair, Rafiq son of Ahmad, Tawal son Zabad, Ameer Bakhsh son of Zabad, Wahag son of Musa, Gulab son of Musa, Pathan son of Musa, Bahot son of Miya and Faiz Mohammad son of Nawab.
Earlier on Sunday, forces conducted offensive raids in Betap mountainous region between Mand and Kashaap region of Turbat Balochistan and abducted Umran son of Gajiyan and his cousin Samad son of Haji Peri and Yar Mohammad so of Khan Mohammad. The victims are residents of Kashaap in Turbat Balochistan.
Meanwhile, Free Balochistan Movement activists have held protest demonstrations and awareness campaigns in different countries including Canada, Germany, Austria, United States of America and the United Kingdom.