As many as 1,265 cases of missing persons are still pending with the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance (CIED) as of December 31, 2014, says a report available with The Express Tribune.
The commission – while submitting summary report on cases of alleged enforced disappearances to Interior Ministry and 12 other departments – has said it has disposed of 1,098 missing persons’ cases from March 2011 to December 2014. The report has also revealed that 28 cases of missing persons have been registered and 52 cases have been disposed of during December 2014.
CIED has been working in the country for last four years. In September 2013, the federal government appointed Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal as its chairman.
However, Defence of Human Rights (DHR) has claimed that number of missing persons is 5,149. The organisation, which is working on the enforced disappearance in the country, has also stated that 252 cases of missing persons surfaced in 2014.
Regarding the contradiction over the numbers of missing persons, DHR Chairperson Amina Masood Janjua contended that the organisation has collected data from all sources including all superior courts. “Therefore, our number is higher than the commission.”
She said CIED has been ineffective in tracing missing persons for last three years and added that the authorities concerned do not follow its orders to arrange meeting of prisoners with their relatives in internment centres.
Amina expressed concern over the fact that the Supreme Court has not taken up missing persons case for the last several months. “DHR has moved three applications in the apex court – against the Protection of Pakistan Act 2014, detention of Pakistani citizens in foreign jails and receiving of 100 dead bodies of missing persons – but the court has not taken up these pleas so far,” she added
She also criticised the federal government for not taking interest in the recovery of missing person.
National Committee on Children
Meanwhile, Wafaqi Mohtasib Salman Faruqui on Wednesday constituted a ‘National Committee on Children’ for the protection of the child rights.
The aim of committee is to formulate and coordinate policies on child rights and child protection for federal and provincial ombudsmen. The committee will recommend policies on better education, better health care and better environment for children.
It will also recommend measures for ensuring compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions to promote and protect rights of children. The committee will ensure that there should be laws for protection of children in each province. Apart from this, it will also raise awareness regarding children’s rights among general masses through media, said a statement.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2015.
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