ISLAMABAD: Defence of Human Rights (DHR) Chairperson Amina Masood Janjua on Tuesday expressed concern over disappearance of missing persons’ bill, which is supposed to be passed in the Senate.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Monday revealed that a bill pertaining to enforced disappearances, which was recently passed by the National Assembly (NA), had gone “missing”.

Speaking to mediapersons at the ministry she said that her ministry had prepared the bill regarding missing persons and it was passed by the relevant standing committee and the National Assembly. But it went missing after it was sent to the Senate.

However, she said there were reports that the bill was now lying with the Senate secretariat.

In a statement, Ms Janjua said that the disappeared citizens number was continuously growing, but no progress had been made for their recovery.

“The power corridors seem not to feel any responsibility of the lost souls since 2001. Today a citizen of Rawalpindi was traced but under shocking realities.

“Muneeb-ur-Rehman, a resident of Misryal Road, Rawalpindi, went missing in 2014 and his family was not been informed about him for five years.

“He was transferred to Kohat Internment Centre in 2019 and then to Deradicalization and Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) in Peshawar,” she said.

“Muneeb was released from the centre on Aug 14 last year on a probation for 6 months. After a month of being at home Muneeb was reportedly disappeared on Sept 24.

“Then on Jan 1, Muneeb was handed over to the Faisalabad police by counter terrorism department CTD and was found in Faisalabad Central Jail. False and baseless allegations were made against him.

“Now it needs strong and long litigation to prove the innocence of Muneeb, somehow the hardships and atrocities against Muneeb don’t seem to stop even after eight torturous years. We will continue the fight against such tortures and illegal detention of citizens,” said DHR chairperson.

“Another person, Sajid Mehmood, has been missing since 2016. During the hearing in the High Court Islamabad it was told by the Inspector General of Police Islamabad that production order would be issued soon. However on Jan 4, in the commission’s hearing, after six years of Sajids disappearance, production order was not issued,” Ms Janjua said.

DHR Chairperson, who was present in the commission on Tuesday, requested that a production order should be passed as soon as possible.

“It is a matter of life, liberty and wellbeing of citizens. Three little daughters of Sajid are now grown up but still, they are in acute anxiety and trauma as they were the witnesses of their loving father’s abduction from home, six years ago,” she said.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2022

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