Legislators call for transfer of prisoners’ treaties of Rome Statute

Ijaz Kakakhel

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday discussed Pakistan’s international treaties, international assistance for flood relief operations, mechanisms for transfer/repatriation of prisoners abroad, tracing and recovery of a Pakistani doctor Mr. Saqib Raza who is illegally detained in Syrian Kurdistan and appointment of Honorary Counsellors in Pakistan. The Chairman of the Committee MNA Mohsin Dawar presided the meeting, which held on Thursday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Committee was briefed about Pakistan’s various international treaties. The Committee recommended that the Government of Pakistan should ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, affirm the International Convention for Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances and International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families respectively.

The Committee also examined the matter pertaining to tracing and recovery of Dr. Saqib Raza, a Pakistani maxillofacial surgeon illegally in Syrian Kurdistan. The mother of the detained doctor Saqib Raza was invited to the meeting. The officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintained that Pakistani mission in Damascus engaged the ICRC, UNHCR and UNICEF to trace Pakistani nationals detained in Syrian Kurdistan. However, repatriation of such detainees requires policy formulation from the Ministry of Interior.

The Committee noted with concern and regretted that such a policy was not devised in four years since the case was reported. The Committee directed to call the Ministry of the Interior to the next meeting on the same subject.

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