Whenever, there is internal violence, turmoil or war, the issue of missing persons becomes apparent and abundant. A person can go missing for various reasons, such as kidnapping for ransom, enmity, suicide at an unknown place, mental illness or domestic violence. Moreover, there are other elements like detention of anti-state elements by law-enforcement agencies which find it difficult to prove the crime. Such detainees are kept at isolated and unknown places. Sometimes individuals who work for different organisations secretly, without the knowledge of their relatives, are perceived to be missing by their relatives. Individuals are kidnapped by foreign elements and agencies to use them for their ulterior motives. When there is a hue and cry over their going missing, they are murdered, mutilated and thrown to invoke hatred against the state. Currently, Pakistan is under attack by foreign elements. Lately there has been a mushroom growth of various foreign-funded organisations aiming at introducing their brand of religion or at liberation through armed struggle. This has led to the issue of ‘missing persons’, which has badly tainted the nation and brought a lot of agonies and pain for their relatives. In order to avoid hatred against the state, we need strong legislation. Here are some basic points.
Whenever someone is arrested, state authorities must be duty bound to inform his relatives. If this practice is not followed, the man in charge of the department must be sacked, without any claim to his pension, perks and privileges. There must be a new anti-terror legislation that will make things easier for the judiciary to proceed against terrorists or anti-state elements. In case of death of an accused, time, cause of the death and address of the graveyard must be conveyed to relatives. There should be a joint intelligence cell to get information of all individuals arrested throughout Pakistan. Once these basic steps are taken, there will be little room for foreign elements to stigmatise us.
DR ABID RAUF ORAKZAI,
Islamabad, June 19.