CM names panel on missing persons

Committee will also work to ensure peace in Balochistan

Syed Ali Shah April 25, 2024
Balochistan home minister Sarfraz Bugti. PHOTO: INP


Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti has announced the formation of a parliamentary committee aimed at ensuring peace and resolving the missing persons issue in the province.

“We are committed to creating a comprehensive plan that ensures peace and order prevail in Balochistan, allowing our people to live without fear,” the chief minister said while addressing a news conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in the provincial capital the other day.

The committee, inclusive of representation from opposition parties, would not only address issues pertaining to peace and missing persons but also deliberate on various challenges encountered by Balochistan. Its primary focus would be on formulating effective policies to tackle these matters.

The chief minister underscored the significance of dialogue in resolving the issues faced by the province. “Seeking peaceful solutions is imperative. Nevertheless, in the event of failed negotiations, we must explore alternative measures,” he asserted.

Addressing the pressing issue of missing persons, Bugti noted that the “dilemma” was of a “significant concern” for the nation.

Referring to the commission on enforced disappearances, the chief minister observed that the body resolved 80 per cent of the cases, while also acknowledging the challenges in identifying the missing individuals.

Bugti cautioned against blaming institutions regarding missing persons, saying government bears the responsibility to locate any missing citizen, regardless of circumstances.

The chief minister condemned the recent acts of violence in Balochistan including the killing of an individual in Kohlu district during by-polls on PB-9.

Denouncing the banned outfits which inflicted harm on innocent civilians, Bugti urged citizens to unite against terrorism.

He also highlighted external factors contributing to terrorism in the region. “Those who perpetrate acts of terrorism in the name of religion are receiving support from across the border in Afghanistan.”

The announcement of the parliamentary committee underscores a concerted effort by the government to address the longstanding issues in Balochistan, with a focus on fostering peace, security, and reconciliation in the troubled region.

A day earlier, the federal government said it had decided to reconstitute the cabinet committee on missing persons, with the inclusion of parliamentary representation.

Addressing a news conference alongside Information Minister Attaullah Tarar in Islamabad, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said resolving the issue of missing persons required time, stressing that it “could not be resolved overnight”, and added that the government was committed to achieving a consensus among all stakeholders.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2024.



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