ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan People’s Party leader Farhatullah Babar has urged the government to pay attention to the missing persons issue. 

Speaking at a protest demon­stration in front of the National Press Club in the capital, organ­ised by the Defence of Human Rights and other civil society organisations, to observe the international day of the disap­peared, he said like the Financial Action task Force, it can become another national issue. 

Babar said that problems were aggravated further after Pervez Musharraf admitted in his memoirs that he had sent hundreds of people to the US’ Central Intelligence Agency. 

“Since then the enforced dis­appearances has been institu­tionalised and neither the Par­liament, nor the judiciary nor any civilian government was able to do anything about it,” he said. 

The PPP leader said that Hu­man Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had on this day two years ago promised to make legislation to criminalise dis­appearances but there has not been able to do anything. 

“I do not blame Shireen Maz­ari for this failure. Perhaps any Minister would have failed. I say this to emphasise that the perpetrators of enforced disappearances were more powerful than all state institu­tions,” he added. 

Babar said that the impunity of crime was frightening as not a single perpetrator had been held to account. 

“More than two thousand missing persons had been traced by the Commission on enforced Disappearance whose Chairman admitted be­fore the Senate committee on Human Rights in August 208 that 153 state functionaries had been identified as involved in the crime,” he said. 

The impunity with which the crime continues despite these facts is frightening, he said. “Times and tides change and one day those responsible will have to account for their mis­deeds.”