Chairman Inquiry Commission on Missing Persons Justice (r) Javed Iqbal on Saturday presented a fresh perspective on the issue that merits close attention. Contrary to the belief that intelligence agencies are involved, he stated that foreign agencies have been abducting citizens in Balochistan. He also maintained that the common charge that the number of missing persons was in thousands was an exaggeration meant to secure political mileage. He clarified that the actual number confirmed in Balochistan was 45. He mentioned three categories of missing persons: those who migrated from the province and those who slipped into Afghanistan of their own will. The third category consisted of terrorists and criminals who after getting bail had gone underground.

While he assured that the commission was fully empowered and all the intelligence agencies were working closely with it, he also rightly pointed out the chinks in their armour, which he stated were letting the foreign agencies get the better of them. One flaw, he said, was lack of modern weapons and technology that were making it difficult for them to break the network of spies. Our own institutions must strictly follow the letter of the law and not take liberties with civilian rights; that is not in their parameter. If there is a network of foreign interference in the country, that is their responsibility to present proof against and under the orders of the Parliament, root it out.