PESHAWAR: Fed up with unsuccessfully waiting for years for their loved ones to return, families of missing persons from Swat protested outside the Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday and demanded the early recovery of their relatives.
Holding banners and placards, scores of protesters asked the Peshawar High Court (PHC) chief justice and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief minister to recover the missing persons – some of whom went missing during the military operation against militants in Swat in 2009.
Naeem Shah said his sons Qadir Shah and Asghar Shah have been missing for the last five years. He maintained they were innocent students who were picked up by unidentified men after which the family never heard from them again.
“My husband, Rahamdad, had a workshop and was kidnapped four years ago while returning home. We have filed cases in the high court, but no progress has been made so far,” lamented a woman named Maloka.
Also participating in the protest, Zahida claimed her husband and two brothers-in-law were picked up in 2009 when unidentified men raided their house at 2am. She said they are fed up from going to police stations but have still not received any news of their whereabouts.
Hakeem, whose brother is missing, said the families should at least be informed about where their loved ones are and what crimes they have committed so that they can be punished under the laws of the state.
Directing their concerns towards Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, protesters said the people who voted for him and his party to bring change in the province want nothing more than to be united with their relatives.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.