Before the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of missing persons’ plight, the general perception was that their number ran into several thousands. The myth was broken when the initial investigation put the number at 633. On the direction from the court, the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances furnished on Wednesday its updated report on the status of missing persons to the two-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain. According to the report, the breakdown of 633 persons who have remained untraced is: maximum of them 279 come from KPK. The second highest number is 148 from Punjab, followed by 100 from Sindh, 48 from Balochistan, 26 from Fata, 20 from Islamabad Capital Territory, 11 from AJK and one from Gilgit-Baltistan.

The commission added that it received 873 new cases of missing persons from all over the country. The total number of cases it handled so far is 1,011. The commission was able to trace 316 persons and deleted 62 names from the list for lack of details. Thus, the commission has disposed of 378 cases till the end of the third week of the current month. This is a human issue and needs to be investigated with extra care so that none of the missing persons is deprived of his right to life and freedom.