QUETTA: During the past 6 years the Commission on Enforced Disappearances had failed in fixing responsibility on those responsible nor registered FIR’s against them nor published its report as provided in the law it is time now to disband it and form a new one with experts in investigations as members and the reports be made public.
This was stated by Senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement today in Quetta where the human rights committee of the senate met to take stock of the situation of missing persons in the province, the persecution and target killings of hazaras and other issues. He also called for making public the report of the first 2010 Commission under late Justice Mansoor Kamal which worked for only one year. Chaired by senator Nasreen Jalil the meeting was attended by senators Sitara Ayaz, Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini, Mir Kabir Shahi, Mufti Abdul Sattar and Farhatullah Babar.
He said that those who have returned homes be encouraged to depose before the Senate Committee on Human Rights with assurances of protection and confidentiality. Secondly complete information about the inmates in 45 internment centres under Action in Aid of Civil Power be placed before the Senate Committee so as to proceed further in the matter.
He said General Musharraf’ had claimed in his biography that his government had captured 689 militants and handed over 369 to the US without trial for bounties totaling millions of dollars. Since Musharraf was not held accountable for this some elements may still think that they can get away with impunity with disappearing people, he said.
the Parliament should be informed about the details of those handed over by Musharaf to foreign countries without trial and without due process, he said.
He said that for raising the comfort level of the victims they should be assured protection as well as confidentiality of their statements before the Committee. For raising the comfort of the state agencies often accused of involvement in enforced disappearances he said the Committee members should state on oath not to make public statements made before them by the recovered.
He said that the Action in Aid of Civil Power was promulgated in 2011 but given retrospective effect from 2008 to enable the security agencies bring into the open for trial those detained by them for years.
Now, the security agencies should reciprocate by not obstructing the recovered persons from deposing before the Senate Committee in complete confidence, he said.
If it appeared that the recovered persons were obstructed from appearing before the Committee it will only strengthen the lingering suspicion that invisible elements more powerful than the Parliament, the courts and the Commission on enforced Disappearances were involved, he warned.