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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights was informed on Friday that the police were clueless about the persons who went missing in Balochistan and Sindh recently.

“The police have no clue about the whereabouts of the four activists who went missing last month in Badin. Other law enforcement agencies too could not provide any lead to their whereabouts,” SSP Badin Abdul Qayoom told the committee.

The senate committee taking up the cases of the recent enforced disappearances in Badin as well as in Attock, also took notice of another eight persons who went missing in Balochistan. The case of the eight missing persons was brought to the notice of the human rights committee by Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini.

Earlier in May, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) claimed that four people detained by law enforcement agencies in Badin were the cases of enforced disappearances.

Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini asked why the missing persons were not produced in the court within 24 hours of their arrest, which was mandatory under the law.

In his briefing before the committee SSP, Abdul Qayoom told the meeting that the police had raided certain locations with the hope of finding the missing persons but without success.

“The families of the two missing persons (out of the four) are in contact with the police who do not want to register a first information report (FIR) but want their relatives found,” said Abdul Qayoom, informing the committee that the police have not been able to trace them through their mobile phones.

According to the SSP, one of the cases had been forwarded to the Commission on Enforced Disappearances, formed on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Mohammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, directed the SSP for a detailed briefing on measures taken to find the four missing persons in the next meeting.

The committee took strong exception to the representatives from Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan who could not turn up to give briefing on the eight missing persons.

The members of the committee urged the chairman to move a privilege motion against the officials of the FC, Baluchistan for being absent from the meeting.

Similarly, the committee expressed displeasure over the absence of relevant police and Ministry of Interior officials for briefing the committee in the case of Mufti Ameer Zaman, who also went missing in Attock.

In June, the Senate had referred the matter of recent enforced disappearance of the cleric from Attock and the persons in Badin to its human rights panel.

The chairman of the committee directed its officials to send reminders to the police department concerned and the Ministry of Interior for a briefing during the next human rights committee meeting.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2017