PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar has submitted a call-to-attention notice in the Senate regarding the alleged kidnapping of vice president of Pak-Turk Schools and his family from Lahore late last month.
Babar's notice, dated September 29, called Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal's attention towards a "matter of grave and urgent public importance" — the disappearance of Mesut Kacmaz, his wife and two daughters on October 27.
The alleged abduction points to the "pathetic helplessness of state institutions" in addressing the issue of missing persons, he said.
Examine: A misery called disappearance
"The style and manner of kidnapping bear the signatures of all too familiar kidnappings brazenly taking place in the country with alarming impunity."
He said that this was the first time that a foreign national and his family had become victims of "enforced disappearances".
The Senator observed that the state cracked down on Pak-Turk schools, which Kacmaz was linked to, in the wake of the failed coup in Turkey and the Turkish staff of the schools was ordered to leave the country.
Babar stressed on the urgency to draw the interior minister's attention in order to challenge the possible narrative that the state might itself be involved in the kidnapping.
Former teachers of Pak-Turk schools have expressed serious concern over the recent kidnapping of their colleague from Lahore, demanding that the Turkish family be recovered immediately.
Kacmaz, former vice president of the Pak-Turk Schools, was reportedly abducted along with his wife and two daughters from their residence in Wapda Town.
According to the application filed with the Sattokatla police station, around 20 people, including some women, arrived at 461, E2 Block, Wapda Town, Lahore — the residence of Mesut Kacmaz and his family — early in the morning. Kacmaz had been staying there for the last five years or so, with his wife Meral and two daughters — students of O and A levels.
One of Kacmaz’s neighbours, Fatih Avci, another Turkish national and schoolteacher, filed the application with the police. According to Acvi, he too had been abducted but was released a few hours later.
He told the police that Kacmaz’s family had been staying in Pakistan on an asylum certificate of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for a year after the Pakistani authorities directed the Turkish staff of the Pak-Turk Schools to leave the country in November last year.
He said that he had seen “trained intruders” in plain clothes taking Kacmaz, his wife and children into custody. They [the abductors] had first blindfolded and handcuffed Kacmaz and his family even as they resisted, Acvi said, adding that he had tried to step in but was meted out the same treatment.
The abductors then hauled him and Kacmaz’s family in their vehicles and took them somewhere, he added. However, they released him after a few hours, Acvi said. He told the police that he was unaware of Kacmaz’s family whereabouts.