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National

January 12, 2018

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Mush confessions indicate state’s involvement in enforced disappearances: Babar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Secretary General Senator Farhatullah Babar Thursday said Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf's admission in his memoirs that he handed over hundreds of alleged militants to the US after 9/11 widened space for agencies involvement in enforced disappearances and the narrative that state itself is involved in the mysterious disappearances.

Addressing the civil society demonstration in front of National Press Club in Islamabad Thursday evening, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that investigations into Musharraf's confession could help understand the mysterious disappearances.

He said the fact that all state institutions including Supreme Court, the Parliament and the central and provincial governments had failed was a proof that those involved were more powerful than the state and were also invisible.

He said that those challenging state's security narrative risked disappearance without a trace while those purveying hate speech were free. “Raza of Lahore was advocating peace in the region and peace with India and no more. But peace with India is not the current state's security narrative. Is it a mere coincidence that Raza mysteriously disappeared after pedaling an alternative security narrative,” he asked.

He said that Action in Aid of Civil Power regulation was promulgated in 2011 and given back-dated effect from 2008. “Those in custody were supposed to be kept in internment centres and tried for crimes in open courts,” he said.

However, he said these internment centres have turned into Abu Ghuraib-like prisons and there was no information whether how many held for how long, whether tried or not and how many died during captivity.

He demanded a thorough performance evaluation audit of these centers. He called for criminalising enforced disappearances, signing the international convention on enforced disappearances, implementation of recommendations of the UN Working Group that visited Pakistan in 2012 and adoption of legislation for state agencies proposed by the Senate.

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