Missing persons: PML-N chief yet to fulfil promise -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Missing persons: PML-N chief yet to fulfil promise

Ikram Junaidi

ISLAMABAD: A representative of the missing persons’ families here on Monday said Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif had not yet fulfilled his promise of providing them a grant of Rs5 million even after the passage of over two-and-a-half months.

However, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) provided the money as promised.

Amina Masood Janjua, the chairperson of Defence of Human Rights (DHR), was replying to questions after a press conference at the National Press Club.

She said during his visit to the missing persons’ camp on February 17, Mr Sharif had announced the financial assistance. However, she said now the DHR had sent a list of 110 persons to PML-N leader Pervez Rasheed and requested him to directly pay the amount to them.

Ms Janjua said on the advice of former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed the camp in the city had been closed.

“The second phase of the campaign will be launched from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on May 15.” She said civil society in Islamabad had helped
them a lot by arranging food, clothing, mattresses and blankets during the protest camp.

“In the second phase, we will arrange protests all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the government should give us protection and access to Waziristan and other areas, because there are so many areas in which over 15 persons have gone missing from one small village and in case of any protest their houses are being bulldozed,” she said.

Ms Janjua claimed that during their sit-in, 28 of the 700 missing people on the list of DHR were released by security agencies while overall 150 persons returned to their homes. She said Senate and National Assembly passed resolutions for the recovery of the missing persons and the issue was also included in the agenda of National Security Council. She said 370 new cases were also registered during the camp.

The DHR chief said she had written to the new ISI chief to play his role in the recovery of the missing persons. She expressed the hope that he would consider the letter.

She also felt sympathy with the families of security personals killed by terrorists and condemned the terror acts. However, she added, people picked up from their houses should be produced in the courts to know if they were really involved in anti-state activities.

“Out of the 28 recovered persons, one has filed an affidavit with the court but I cannot put at risk the lives of the others by asking them to submit affidavits. According to the investigation of DHR, in 80 per cent of the cases of missing persons, police officials were involved,” she said.

Saad Omer Khan, member of Pakistan Federation of America, said his organisation was going to arrange a conference in Chicago in which American policies regarding the war and drone strikes would be condemned. He said the US had violated international law by attacking Iraq and Afghanistan. After Libya, the US is now playing its role to remove the governments of Iran and Syria, he added.

Wife of missing Farhaj Butt also spoke to the media along with her three children. She said about eight months back her husband was arrested by the police after which he disappeared. She said her seven-month-old son had never seen his father.

Dawn