Missing persons: Families demand govt to ensure safe return of loved ones

Ask PM and chief justice to take notice of disappearances

ZUBAIR ASHRAF February 26, 2017
Families claim that the missing relatives are in custody of law enforcement agencies. PHOTO: IRFAN ALI/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Families of missing persons belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) appealed to the prime minister, chief justice and other authorities on Saturday to ensure the safe recovery of their loved ones as soon as possible.

According to the families, the missing relatives are in the custody of law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Addressing the media at Karachi Press Club, the families of Shariq Kamal, Ahmed Ali Baig, Farhaj Yaqoob, Farhan Hashmi and Kamran Qureshi claimed that all of them were picked up by LEAs and were 'forcibly disappeared'. Their whereabouts are unknown, the families added.

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Kamal's wife claimed her husband was arrested from his shop in Shah Faisal Colony on March 30, 2015. She said she approached the police, courts and other authorities but none of them informed her anything about her husband. "If he has done something wrong, he should be presented in courts and prosecuted accordingly," she said, questioning which law permits such kind of enforced disappearances.

"My husband is missing since the past two years. We have three children and they ask daily when their father will return home," she sobbed. "Don't people in the LEAs have relatives such as sons and brothers?"

Mother of Baig, an activist of All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation, complained her son has been missing since December 30 last year. She claimed that LEAs picked up her son from a restaurant in Gulshan-e-Iqbal when he was having dinner with a friend after returning from university.

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She said applications and petitions have been moved in the court and with the LEAs but no outcome has come of it as yet. "The Supreme Court and Sindh High Court chief justices, prime minister and army chief should take notice of these disappearances and recover our loves ones," she demanded.

Although the MQM has been divided in two groups of London and Pakistan, both the factions seem to be on the same page when it comes to the issue of missing persons. Leaders of the two factions have condemned and raised concerns over the cases of alleged enforced disappearances, urging authorities to take notice of them.

On Friday, the MQM-Pakistan complained and raised concerns in a statement regarding the unclaimed arrest of three party workers, identified as Mushtaq Ayub, Sarfaraz Akhtar and Zafar Khan.

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