United Nation group meets Human Rights activists, missing persons’ relatives
By: Akhtar Amin
PESHAWAR: The UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances discussed the issue of missing persons related to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas with delegations of various groups including human rights activists and relatives of missing persons here on Monday.
Headed by Olivier de Frouville, the visitors met the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa vice-chairperson Sher Muhammad Khan, convener Amn Tehrik Idrees Kamal, political figure and Amn Tehrik representative Mukhtar Bacha, women rights activist Rakhshanda Naz, some media persons and relatives of missing persons, mostly from Swat district at a hotel here and discussed the issue with them in depth.
Sher Muhammad Khan told The News that they discussed the issue of missing and detained persons with the UN mission and handed over a list of missing persons who are in hundreds to it. “The HRCP handed over the list of those missing persons who approached it but majority of the missing persons did not approach us as they are making personal efforts for release of their near and dear ones,” he said.
In the HRCP report, he said relatives of missing persons had lodged their complaints against the security forces and spy agencies as they were not treating the missing and detained persons under the law and Constitution.
Idrees Kamal said he had conveyed to the team the current situation of missing persons and human rights violations going on in the province. “I told the UN mission that future of hundreds of detained persons shifted to government notified internment centres is uncertain as they are not treated under the existing laws and regulations. I also conveyed that there was no political and government effort for safe recovery of missing persons,” he said, adding that courts were doing the job to recover missing persons and taking action against human rights violations.
Sources said the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances met Home and Tribal Affairs secretary Muhammad Azam Khan after meeting with the human rights activists and relatives of missing persons. However, no official release was issued about the meeting.
Earlier, a meeting between the UN mission and PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan was scheduled on September 17. However, the PHC chief justice later expressed his inability to receive the visitors. His refusal came after Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry declined to receive the visiting UN team to discuss the missing persons’ cases as these are sub judice.
Currently, cases of over 100 missing persons are pending with the PHC, while more than 1,000 have been shifted to internment centres under military control in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) and tribal agencies.