ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Friday informed the National Assembly that the number of missing persons in the country had increased to 1,640 by the end of February 2018, the highest in past seven years.
Quoting a monthly progress report of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, the minister stated that the number of missing persons was 1, 640 by February 28, 2018.
According to the report, the number of missing persons from Sindh is 142 while the majority of these persons are related to Karachi, the minister said while responding to a question raised by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) lawmaker Abdul Waseem.
Regarding the federal government’s efforts to curb the practice, the minister said the government had appointed Justice (r) Dr Ghous Muhammad as a member of the commission in October 2014 for the sub-office of the commission at Karachi who is holding regular hearings pertaining to these cases.
“Subsequently, 1, 075 out of 1, 217 cases of the missing persons of the Province of Sindh have been disposed of by the commission. At present only 142 cases are under investigation,” the minister added.
It is pertinent to mention here that the number of missing persons in year 2016 was reported at 1,219. Due to the Rangers operation against miscreants in Karachi, another 728 Pakistanis were added to the list of missing persons in 2016 – the highest number in over the past six years – taking the tally to 1,219.
According to the report, during the last six years, the commission received 3,740 complaints from different parts of the country out of which 2,521 were decided till December 31. The commission held 398 proceedings, including 212, in Islamabad and 186 in Karachi.
From 2011 to 2016, cases of 121 missing persons were reported from the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 752 from Punjab, 1,010 from Sindh, 1,425 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 276 from Balochistan, 112 from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), 40 from Azad Jammu Kashmir and four from Gilgit-Baltistan.