Lahore: On the eve of the International Day of the Disappeared (August 30), the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has reiterated its demand that the government must adopt effective measures to rid to country of the curse of enforced disappearances, beginning with immediate ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. In a statement issued here today the commission said:
“On the International Day of the Disappeared, that falls on Saturday, August 30, 2014, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan joins worldwide campaign by the various human rights organisations in calling for an end to disappearances and the culture of impunity that keeps the practice alive. While it is gratifying to note that the incidence of enforced disappearance has declined to some extent in Balochistan, increased number of cases continue to be reported from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. What is particularly unacceptable is the fact that the victims are mostly persons known for political dissent or communitarian activism. Further, in a majority of cases the victim families blame the law-enforcing personnel for picking up their relatives and detaining them indefinitely. Obviously the redress mechanisms, and judicial forums, have not been able to expedite recovery of the disappeared people. Little progress has been made on the need to punish those responsible for enforced disappearances and for a comprehensive, nationwide programme to compensate the victims.
“HRCP calls upon the government to expedite all measures necessary for putting an end to enforced disappearances. The process may begin with ratification of the International Convention on Disappearances which has already been ratified by 43 states and signed by another 50 countries. It should be a matter of concern in Islamabad that Pakistan is counted among the countries that have a significant number of the 43,000 unresolved cases of disappearance world-wide.