Apology: UN official regrets snub to police

SC asks UN to share information about missing man.

Our Correspondent July 17, 2013
A view of United Nations Headquarters in New York, New York. PHOTO: EPA


In a case involving the whereabouts of a missing person, the resident coordinator United Nations (UN) Pakistan has extended his apology to a superintendent police (SP) from Lahore for lack of cooperation by his office.

Last week, SP Shahzad Bukhari had visited the UN office in Islamabad in pursuance of Supreme Court directives, but was not allowed to see any UN official despite waiting for over two hours in their office.

Bukhari had visited the UN in connection with the case of a missing person, Mudassir Iqbal, being heard by a bench of the apex court.

Earlier, the UN itself had highlighted Mudassir’s plight in a letter to the commission on enforced disappearances, highlighting that sources had informed the UN about the missing person’s presence in an internment centre after he was picked up by security agencies from Lahore some three years ago.

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, member of the bench hearing the case filed by Mudassir’s mother Bushra Bibi, expressed his annoyance over the non-cooperation of the UN with police.

Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar informed the three-judge bench hearing the case that Tino Pakala, the UN resident coordinator, had offered his apology to Bukhari.

Explaining his position in the letter Neil Wright, acting resident coordinator UN said that he had informed Raja Ali Ejaz, Director General UN and Muhammad Saeed, Director Security Council and Human Rights Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about the case of Mudassir Iqbal on July 15.

Mudassir had been reported missing by the UN working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances in March 2013 to the Pakistani mission in Geneva. The UN resident coordinator further said the SP came to their office without appointment and could not be facilitated. He expressed his consent to cooperate with the police in efforts to recover Mudassir.

Hearing the reply, Justice Khawaja asked Bukhari to issue notices to the resident coordinator UN asking him to appear in his office at Lahore and inform the police of Mudassir’s whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Khokhar asked the bench to adjourn the hearing of the case for a week as the UN in Pakistan had contacted their office in Geneva seeking information about Mudassir’s location.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.

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