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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Missing persons issue: Law minister calls for 'political solution' besides legal remedies

Azam Nazeer Tarar claims 77% of missing persons’ cases addressed by inquiry commission

By Web Desk
April 23, 2024
Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar (right) and Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar address the press conference in Islamabad on April 23, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — Geo News
Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar (right) and Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar address the press conference in Islamabad on April 23, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — Geo News

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar has said that the incumbent government is serious about addressing the longstanding issue of missing persons and has urged all stakeholders to find a political solution alongside adopting legal remedies.

The committee on the missing persons’ issue is being reconstituted on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s directives, the law minister said while addressing a press conference alongside Federal Minister for Information Attaullah Tarar in Islamabad on Tuesday. “The government is serious about addressing this issue,” he added.

The law minister said that 10,200 cases of missing persons were registered in the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIoED) out of which around 8,000 cases have been addressed.

He said that the former Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government formed a committee on the issue with the representation of all stakeholders including Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), and others.

Now the incumbent government is going to re-constitute the parliamentary committee to continue its work on the subject, he added.

Azam further said that the issue of missing persons was four decades old "thus it couldn’t be resolved over the night". He said that the involvement of government institutions in the matter couldn’t be denied but no concrete evidence was ever produced before the committee in this regard, the state news agency reported.

The minister also criticised that negative propaganda ran on social media regarding the missing persons. He added that some individuals listed among missing persons were found involved in terror incidents.

He said that reports of missing persons were also not 100% correct every time. Two people were facing jail sentences in various cases while one was found among the attackers of the Gwadar attack, he said.

The Pakistan Army and people, he said, have lost a number of lives in the incidents of terrorism in the country. "There is a need to get a political solution along with the legal efforts... if anyone is found involved in a crime he must be prosecuted."

Meanwhile, the information minister said that in 2011, the Supreme Court formed an inquiry commission about missing persons which sorted out 7,900 cases out of 10,023 cases and now 23% of the cases are pending.

He added that a cabinet committee had been constituted on the issue and it would present proposals for solution of the matter.