ISLAMABAD: Inspector General (IG) of Frontier Corps (FC) Major General Obaidullah Khan Khattak will not be able to meet the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances when the team visits Quetta on September 15, a highly-placed source told The Express Tribune.
According to sources, the UN working group had expressed its desire to meet Khattak to discuss the issue of missing persons in Balochistan.
An official in the FC media department, Murtaza Baig, told The Express Tribune that the IG FC would be unavailable to the UN team as he would be ‘busy’ with relief operations in the flood-affected areas of the province.
Another official in the Balochistan government said Khattak was not obligated to meet the UN team since the working group was not mandated to conduct an investigation on the issue of enforced disappearance.
Former president of Balochistan High Court Bar Association Advocate Shakil Hadi also refused to arrange a meeting with the UN working group. Hadi, who is the legal counsel of Nawabzada Jamil Bugti, son of Nawab Akbar Bugti, told The Express Tribune that he considered the UN team’s visit to Pakistan as interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan, adding that the list of missing persons was highly misleading.
“I personally know that many persons who have gone underground were also being treated as missing persons,” Hadi said.
Meanwhile, a high-level meeting of senior officials of Balochistan discussed matters pertaining to the UN working group’s activities. Balochistan’s home secretary also attended the meeting and briefed participants on the team’s visit to Quetta.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2012.