Cabinet Committee on Missing Persons Reiterates Commitment to Solve Case

ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Missing Persons on Friday reiterated its commitment to resolve the issue of missing persons as soon as possible, bearing in mind the seriousness of the problem.

The fifth meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee to deliberate on a policy on enforced disappearances was held here under the chairmanship of Federal Minister of Law and Justice, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar.

Senator Kamran Murtaza, Federal Minister of Science and Technology Agha Hasan Baloch and Federal Minister Shazia Marri attended the meeting. Senior journalist Hamid Mir also attended the meeting by special invitation.

Additional Chief Secretary Home Punjab, Secretary Law Punjab, Additional IG CTD Punjab and Special Secretary Home Sindh also attended the meeting. The meeting participants presented their suggestions to solve the problem.

The members of the committee reiterated once again their determination to submit their proposals to the federal cabinet for a rapid settlement of the missing persons file, while keeping in mind the seriousness of the case.

During the meeting, the Federal Minister of Justice contacted the Secretary of Health of Balochistan by telephone and asked him to provide effective medical aid to the participants of the sit-in. The Federal Minister of Justice has promised to travel soon to Quetta to personally meet the participants in the sit-in.

Agha Hassan Baloch said the problem of missing persons is Balochistan’s biggest problem. It must be dealt with as a matter of priority and practical measures are needed in this regard, he added.

He said that committee members should go there and meet people. Shazia Marri, chairperson of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), said the committee would work hard to resolve the issue of missing persons.

The committee decided to travel to Quetta in the next three to four days to meet with participants in the ongoing sit-in regarding missing persons.

During the last meeting of the committee, Senator Tahir Bizenjo, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Ahsan Bhoon, Pakistan Bar Council member Abid Saqi had also submitted his suggestions.

At previous committee meetings, former senator Farhatullah Babar and Pakistani human rights group chairperson Amina Masood Janjua had also presented their suggestions to the committee by special invitation. In previous meetings, Federal Ministers Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Faisal Sabzwari also presented their suggestions to the committee.

Valerie J. Wallis