ISLAMABAD - The Amnesty International has written a letter to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, calling for stepped up efforts to secure the release of missing people.

In the letter to PM Raja on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances to be marked today (August 30), the group regretted the government did not take the issue of missing people seriously during its tenure.

“Thousands of people have gone missing in the country,” said the letter, adding that an immense increase had been reported in the number of missing people from Sindh and Balochistan. It said the agencies had been blamed for enforced disappearances.

Hundreds of people were recovered after the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the issue. The apex court has been holding the proceedings of missing people case in Balochistan’s capital Quetta. The Peshawar High Court has ordered agencies, police and the provincial government to provide details on the status of 170 people. In February, seven men allegedly detained by agencies appeared before the Supreme Court, a year and a half after being arrested in connection with terror attacks.