Categories: National

Number of missing persons witnesses an unusual surge

—59 more cases received in August

ISLAMABAD: The missing persons’ commission has registered an alarming rise in the number of missing Pakistani citizens as 59 more cases of missing persons were reported during the month of August.

According to the official figures shared by the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, the total number of reported cases of missing persons has surged to 5,349 cases, out of which 3,519 cases have been disposed of up to August 31.

“A total of 5,290 cases were received up to July 31, 2018, to the missing persons’ commission. During August, 59 more cases were received to the commission and now the total numbers of the cases are 5,349,” an official said.

It is important to note that secretary of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances had told the court in February this year that it had disposed of 3,000 cases while 1,577 were still pending with it.

The commission disposed of 57 cases during August and now the total number of cases stood at 1,830 till August 31. The commission has conducted 485 hearings out of which 240 were conducted in Islamabad, 180 in Karachi and 180 in Lahore during August.

The commission has recovered 3,519 missing persons up till August, besides ensuring their safe return to their homes due to the efforts of the Commission Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, the official said and added that the chairman performed his duties for seven days a week and even on holidays without receiving any remuneration and salary.

“He not only gives personal hearing to each family of missing persons but tries his utmost for their earliest recovery. The relatives of missing persons have also acknowledged the remarkable efforts of Javed Iqbal,” the official added.

Due to the same, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has also referred more than 300 cases of missing persons to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances for their recovery.

The source claimed that Justice Iqbal has not been using government resources and has been pursuing the mission of recovering the missing persons and does not receive any salary while working as president of the commission.

Earlier, the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has said that if there was no improvement in the missing persons’ case, the Supreme Court (SC) could declare the issue as a violation of human rights under Article 184(3).

Justice Nisar said, “SC will not tolerate such illegality qua the life and liberty of the citizens.

The families of the missing persons have been protesting regularly to find about the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at hussainmian@gmail.com

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