Missing person’s recovery claims
THE most inhumane of all the serious problems facing Pakistani citizens is the abduction and disappearance of any person in the name of interrogation without giving any reason to the family members.
In this case, the province of Balochistan is the most gruesome. In the last few days, Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif, during his visit to Balochistan, has tried to reassure the Baloch people that the issue of recovery of missing persons is the first priority and resolve it on the basis of justice.
In fact, the most controversial and long standing issue in Pakistan is the issue of missing persons.
Thousands of young people have gone missing from all over the country and no trace of them has been found so far.
No hearing has taken place anywhere from the corridors of the parliament house to the doors of the Supreme Court.
How many chiefs of the Supreme Court have come and gone, how many faces have changed in the post of Prime Minister, but every time in power despite millions of promises and claims, the missing persons could not be recovered nor could this be stopped.
No government has a solution to this issue, the national defence establishment has it, yet the issue is not being resolved.
The issue of missing persons is very sensitive and everyone tries to subdue while talking about it but some solution of this issue has to be found. The families of the victims are asking what is the guilt of their missing persons?
If they are enemies of the country, they are imprisoned in a penitentiary or if they have been killed in any operation, then tell the family members.
If the issue of missing persons is looked at out of fear of international pressure or from the point of view of Pakistani constitution and law or from the heart of a patriotic Pakistani, we will come to the same conclusion from every angle that a permanent solution to this issue will have to be found.
The present government is giving importance to the issue of missing persons and is keen to resolve this issue.
The government has to address the issue of missing persons not only in Balochistan but in the whole country.
It should be resolved in the shortest possible time for which effective legislation should be enacted after which no citizen can be taken into custody or disappeared by any institution without proper legal permission and without the knowledge of the family.
At present, the situation seems to be very favourable for the present government as the judiciary has buried the ideology of necessity and also the military leadership has made it clear through its stance that it has never exceeded the constitutional limits.
In this environment, the prospects for a lasting and just solution to the problem of missing persons have become clearer than ever before.
Balochistan has been neglected for most of the history of the country. The only way to compensate for this is to take special measures to bring it equal to the developed areas.
The issue of missing persons should also be settled once and for all. If there is peace in Balochistan then there will be peace in Pakistan also.
Peace in Balochistan is related to recovery of missing persons and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has assured the Baloch people that the issue of missing persons is their top priority thus it remains to be seen whether this claim will come true. Only time will tell if there will be any practical progress in this direction.
—The writer is a regular columnist, based in Lahore.