ISLAMABAD - Marking the International Day of Forced Disappearances, Asad Umar for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf on Sunday announced to move a resolution in the National Assembly against forced disappearances.
“Forced disappearances are not acceptable. In order to address the chronic issue, we would move a resolution in the National Assembly, that Pakistan should become a signatory to the international declarations and laws on forced disappearances,” said Asad Umar, while addressing a conference organised by an NGO, Defense of Human Rights.
Umar said that the Senate Committee on Human Rights has already worked on the subject and its findings and recommendations could be taken up further.
Talking about civil-military relations, Umar said that there should be a balance in all matters.
“Forced disappearances is something that makes me sad; we don't educate 60 percent of our youngsters and if someone goes on the wrong path, we start bombing them, this is not the way to run affairs of state. If rights of any single citizen can be snatched, then no one is safe in the country,” he said.
He said that during the passage of recent legislations, granting more powers to law enforcement agencies, the only justification given was that after the law, at least institutions would become answerable, but nothing has happened as disappearances continue.
On the occasion, PPP Senator Taj Haider, said that a Senate subcommittee under Farhatullah Babar, has made a comprehensive report, which was tabled in the Senate, but neither the government made any legislation nor gave any reason as to why it was not adopted.
He said, Pakistan should sign international declarations on forced disappearances, make legislation and form a special parliamentary committee, where law enforcement agencies are made answerable.
Haider said that all those having powers should be made more accountable, and a system of proper checks and balances should be implemented in the law enforcement institutions.
Awami National Party Senator Afrasiab Khattak said that officials allegedly involved in disappearances should be tried in courts without any impunity.
He said that families of missing persons should also be given financial support. He said that laws made to root out terrorism from society were actually being used against the common man.
Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of the Defence of Human Rights, who has been campaigning for the release of disappeared persons since several years, discussed cases of missing persons in Pakistan and neighbouring countries. Giving examples of some chronic missing cases, including her husband, Masood Janjua, she appealed to the Chief of the Army Staff to help trace them.