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Senate panel summons Shah Mehmood over missing persons issue

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Tuesday summoned Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the next session over the issue of missing persons in the country.

The Senate Panel was chaired by Senator Rehman Malik where argued with concerned authorities on “the names and other details of the missing persons who went missing in last 10 years” raised by Senator Usman Kakar under point of public importance.

The meeting was briefed by Justice (r) Fazalur Rehman, senior member of the Commission on Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, Home Secretary Punjab, Additional IG Police KP and AJK.

Senator Rehman Malik said he was informed that the number of missing persons dealt with by the Commission from March 2011 to 31st Dec, 2018 was 3551. He said that as per the details, 1577 returned home, 691 are confined in internment centres, 440 are in different jails for terrorism and criminal charges, 184 dead bodies were found and 659 were not cases of enforced disappearances.

Senator Usman Kakar while refusing to accept the statistics of the commission on missing persons said that the statistics of the erstwhile FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are totally different from other provinces of the country.

“The commission arguing that in former FATA the ratio of missing persons is 248 in which 116 have been released but according to my information the number of missing persons in tribal areas and KP is 2103” Usman Kakar added.

Senator Kalsoom Parveen while stating the situation in Quetta added that a doctor was kidnapped from the city and came back after paying Rs 60 million in extortion to the kidnappers. Senator Momin Khan Afridi told the committee that he had been receiving calls from across the border for extortion since long.

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The Senate panel summoned IG Baluchistan, Home Secretary & Chief Secretary on the kidnapping of the doctor issues from Quetta for the next session.

“Commission on Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances has a very limited jurisdiction and the Committee is there to extend its assistance to empower the commission both financially and legally”, Malik added.

The Senate panel summoned Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for briefing the committee regarding the missing persons during next meeting.

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