The most prominent case that Balochistan has seen in the last decade has been that of missing persons. A man named Mama Qadeer Baloch whose son Jaleel Reiki went missing in 2010 started a rigorous campaign for missing persons against the state of Pakistan. Reiki was the information secretary of the Baloch Republican Party and the BRP is headed by Brahumdagh Khan Bugti. Baloch Republican Party harbours a fierce sense of separation from Pakistan. After this incident, Mama Qadeer tried several methods to highlight the case of missing persons, in which help from intelligence units of neighbouring countries was also involved. Hate speech was at its peak in his speeches against the state and he highlighted enforced disappearances of the Baloch people by accusing state organs.

In 2015, a talk on Balochistan at Lahore University of Management Sciences cancelled because the narrative being produced under the shelter of the academia was allegedly biased and propagandist. Mama Qadeer was invited as a speaker in that program. The whole mantra of “Missing Persons” didn’t end with this episode. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) claims disappearance of some 18000 Baloch people from different walks of life and 1000 of them have been extrajudicially killed although authorities are in denial.

Pakistan’s Law and Court agencies made a Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances back in 2010 which welcomed all the application regarding the missing persons.

On Wednesday, the head of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal shared the performance and progress of the Commission before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights. The meeting was chaired by Nasreen Jalil, deputy convener of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan. Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal mentioned there that Mama Qadeer could not back up his claims regarding the number of missing persons and went on to explain that there is a need for new legislation to enable authorities to hold someone responsible for enforced disappearances.

He further told the standing committee that, “We have disposed of 2,899 cases out of a total of 4,329 cases received by the commission whereas we are currently processing 1,386 cases.” He also said that if the parliament would modify some of the relevant section of the Criminal Procedures Code (CPC), cases could be solved quicker and that the parliament should play a proactive role in empowering the committee.

It is pertinent to mention that he was appointed as the head of the Abbottabad Commission. He mentioned yesterday in front of the committee that he was being blamed for not making the Abbottabad Commission Report public whereas only the government and the parliament can decide to do that.

Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal said that the report on missing persons which has been compiled by Justice Kamal Mansoor should also be made public. This suggestion was dismissed by Senator Faratullah Babar who suggested holding an evaluation audit of the commission, insisting that despite all drawbacks, there was a lot the body could have done. According to him, the Senate had already prepared a draft law in this regard, which it had submitted to the government.

He further added that there is no consensus on the exact number of missing persons and that the data presented by Mama Qadeer, CIED, and international organizations was controversial. Furthermore, he observed that the Commission did not record the statements of returned victims of kidnapping incidents to evaluate who should be held accountable. The senator also criticized the Commission on not having published a single report since it was created. He said that, “The Commission is appointed by the government and not a judicial commission. As such, evaluating its performance is the government’s responsibility and oversight is a function of the Parliament.”

The senator urged the commission to present its findings on the more than 2000 Pakistani citizens who had been traced, after proper investigation, in three months.


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