Senate body concerned about human rights violations
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday asked the ministry of defence to complete and forward its recommendations over draft legislation on forced disappearance by June 30. The committee will then present the proposed law in the Upper House of parliament for further deliberation.
The committee expressed serious reservations over rising trend in disappearance of innocent people at the hands of security agencies. The missing persons case initiated in FATA, then extended to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and has now reached Karachi.
Committee chairman Senator Afrasiab Khattak was of the view that this is an old legislation for which the ministry of defence has promised to provide its recommendation by March 2013 but nothing has been submitted as yet. Being a main stakeholder, he said the ministry of defence has to submit its proposals in the legislation, which may strengthen the law.
The committee unanimously decided that the proposed legislation would be presented in the Upper House if the ministry of defence forwarded proposals by June 30.
The committee was of the view that both the National Assembly and Senate have passed a law of enforced disappearance but still it required more legislation. Senator Farhatullah Babar was of the view that both the ministry of defence and ministry of interior were using delay tactics and it is very difficult to afforded any further delay in disappearance cases.
“We should present the law in parliament quickly because there are some forces who are opposing this draft. A last chance should be given to the ministry of deference for presenting their proposals about proposed law against enforced disappearance,” said Babar.
The committee unanimously decided that June 30 is last date for ministry of defence to forward its suggestions and beyond this the draft legislation will be presented in the parliament.
The committee also expressed serious concerns and reservation over the extra judicial killings in Karachi and disappearance of innocent people at the hands of security agencies. MQM Senator Nasreen Jalil told the committee that kidnapping of people by Rangers were on rise in Karachi.
Balochistan like situation is being created in Karachi and if appropriate measures are not taken, the situation will further deteriorate, said the senator. She mentioned some party workers like Ajmal Baig, Sarfaraz and others who were picked by security agencies and later killed while some are still missing.
Farhatullah Baber said doctors of civil hospital later declared the death of Ajmal Baig as custodian death but the security agencies reject the report. Officials of Sindh government informed the committee that Sarfaraz’s killing is condemnable and investigation will be complete by June 30.
The committee expressed resentment over non-presence of ministers for defence and interior to explain the exact situation over such a critical situation. Afrasiab Khattak informed the committee that the ministry of human rights has been abolished by the present government while two new ministries known as ministry of Aviation and Planning were created.
Though the human rights situation in the country is very pathetic and removing the ministry in such a critical situation is very dangerous for the country, said Khattak.
The committee decided to inform the prime minister about the concern of senators over the abolishment of the human rights ministry. The committee also demanded to convert the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights to Senate Functional Committee on HR.
Source: Daily Times