Missing persons: Probe panel begins work

Interior ministry pruned the list to include 44 names.


Zahid Gishkori September 11, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED) has finally begun investigations into the cases of 44 missing persons after tracking down the rest of the 77, whose names were forwarded to it by the interior ministry, earlier this year.


Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and the Balochistan Liberation United Front (BLUF) had sent two separate lists with names of 1,780 missing persons to the interior ministry earlier this year. The National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) pruned the list and forwarded the names of 44 missing persons to the CIED. Interior Minister Rehman Malik directed the commission to investigate 77 cases. He had held various meetings with home secretaries and provincial police officers to trace missing persons.

According to a report prepared by the NCMC, available with The Express Tribune, the commission eliminated duplications and filtered the list on the basis of available evidence and disposed of 33 cases of missing persons. The commission referred to the National Database Registration Authority which identified seven persons and retrieved their computerised national identity cards after examining the list forwarded by Raisani.

The directorate of passport and immigration located five persons who were reportedly missing for months. The Federal Investigation Agency tracked nine individuals, one of whom was travelling abroad the day after he was reported missing. The commission did not take up cases of around 10 missing persons because they did not fall within the ambit of enforced disappearances. NCMC officials told The Express Tribune that it was very difficult to investigate every case forwarded to them. “The interior ministry could not trace all the missing persons because investigators had only incomplete data to work with,” said CIED Secretary Fareed Ahmed Khan.



Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2011.

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