During the last two months, the missing persons commission has found 47 people out of the 274 reported missing.
According to the commission, 165 people are still reported missing, and some cases were dismissed during the investigation because either there was not enough information or the case was beyond its jurisdiction.
The commission, made up of former high court judges, was formed on the directives of the Supreme Court and mandated to investigate these cases. Its main task is to compile a list of all missing persons with detailed background checks and information. The commission was also responsible for recording statements regarding the disappearances and collect all kinds of relevant evidence. It was also supposed to make a list of those people who were initially declared not missing.
The commission was also required to: propose methods of finding the missing persons; ensure compensation for affected people; identify the people or organisations responsible for the disappearances; and take measures to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.
The commission’s first meeting had taken place on May 10 in Islamabad. But for the convenience of the families of the missing persons, meetings were held in each province as well.
During these sessions, statements by the affected families, law-enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies were recorded. Overall, 274 missing-persons cases were registered for hearing by the commission, which included 15 cases from Islamabad, 61 from the Punjab, 25 from Sindh, 64 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 100 from Balochistan, seven from Fata and two from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
After going through the recorded statements and collected evidence, 39 cases were dismissed because the people concerned did not fall under the category of missing persons. Meanwhile, 83 cases were also disregarded because there was not enough information.
The commission claims to have found 47 missing persons. The people who were found either suddenly appeared at their homes or were discovered to be in the custody of law-enforcement agencies. The people in the custody of the law-enforcement agencies were found in different prisons all over the country. However, no missing person has been found in Fata and Azad Jammu and Kashmir yet.
Crisis Management Cell director-general Fareed Khan, who was nominated the secretary for the commission by the interior ministry, said the commission’s next meeting will take place in Islamabad on July 26 in which the findings and work of the commission will be reviewed and discussed.
After the review, the commission will submit a report to the Supreme Court and the federal government along with its propositions, he added. After the initial report, the commission will continue its investigations into the cases of 165 other missing
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2010.
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