ISLAMABAD: Seeking “exemplary punishment” for the perpetrators, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has added its voice to the growing condemnation of enforced disappearances and resolved to help victims’ families get justice.
In its 192nd meeting, the council on Saturday, headed by its chairman, Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq, held the government responsible for the trend along with the intelligence agencies.
It resolved that a “PBC Free Legal Aid Committee” will provide free legal help for conducting the cases of abducted/missing persons if approached and provided the necessarily materials by the families of the victims.
Hamid Khan, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and central leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, tabled a resolution that was unanimously passed by PBC members. The resolution stated that “This house condemns the abduction of the citizens of Pakistan by the government and its intelligence agencies and for keeping such persons missing and untraced against the due process of law.”
The PBC, in its unequivocal criticism of the abductions and killings, specifically pointed to the torture missing persons have been subjected to, blaming particularly the intelligence agencies of Pakistan. The resolution expressed hope that the judiciary would strictly deal with the people responsible for the torture, and award “exemplary punishment” to them.
While the council’s resolution condemned the cases of missing persons across the country in general, it also especially mentioned Balochistan. The PBC condemned the murders of abducted persons found dead in several parts of Balochistan, stating that the house “demands that those responsible for such slayings be severely dealt with”.
Some 22 top lawyers of the country attended the meeting, including the head of the Supreme Court Bar Association Yasin Azad, PBC vice chairperson Akhtar Hussain, and a prominent leader of the lawyers’ movement for the restoration of the judiciary, Abdul Latif Afridi.
The PBC’s condemnation is part of a rising tide of criticism from various quarters which has brought the missing persons cases to attention, particularly in Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.
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