Senate body summons recovered missing persons for in-camera briefing

December 7, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on Thursday decided to summon recovered missing persons for an in-camera session and ask them who they had been picked up by.

The committee also decided that once the victims recorded their statements, representatives of intelligence agencies, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau, would be called in before the committee.

Briefing the committee during today’s session, the additional interior secretary of Balochistan said that there are currently 136 people missing in the province.

The secretary said that 120 people on the list have criminal records. He added that bodies of 27 people had been found, while 104 people had been recovered, adding that attempts were made to gather information from those who had returned home but they had not been willing to give their statements.

He added that some of the names on the list of missing persons were incorrect and therefore, had been removed by the head of the Commission on Enforced Disappearances.

“We do not know who is behind the enforced disappearances,” the secretary said. “In one or two cases the relatives of the missing persons have blamed the agencies.”

Senator Nasreen Jalil, who was presiding over the committee’s session, said that recovered missing persons would be called in and asked who picked them up. She said the committee could then call members of agencies and present the facts before them, and tell them that “this matter must end now”.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said: “We all know who is picking them up but we don’t make that information public.”

Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini demanded that the ISI, MI and IB be summoned in relation to the matter of enforced disappearances.

“Whoever is picking up these people is stronger than the state institutions,” Senator Babar said, demanding that the commission be dissolved and replaced with a new one.

“This matter is bringing disrepute to the country,” the committee noted.

According to the Inquiry Commission on Enforced Disappearances, 728 Pakistanis were added to the ‘missing persons’ list in 2016, the highest number in at least six years bringing the total to 1,219. INP