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Activists Refuse To Believe SECP Official’s Statement About Disappearance, Demand Inquiry

Activists have refused to believe the statement made by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Joint Director Sajid Gondal after his recovery, wherein he said that he was visiting northern areas with friends during his reported disappearance.

They raised questions over his statement and demanded the courts take up the matter on humanitarian grounds. They added that enforced disappearance and such statements after recovery of the person are not in the interest of the country’s prestige in the world.

It is to mention here that the SECP officer who had gone missing from Islamabad’s Park Road some five days ago had said that he was visiting northern areas with friends.

Amina Masood Janjua, known for her struggle against enforced disappearance in Pakistan, says she doesn’t agree with the content of the statement recorded by the SECP officer Gondal with the police. According to her, ‘He has been directed for this statement’.

The known rights activist asked if he was visiting northern areas then why was his family protesting on roads? Janjua says how is it possible that a mature person with a communication gadget didn’t inform his parents about his route affair.

She termed the statement just a cover-up over another illegal act of certain elements. She said it was an enforced disappearance and the officer was picked up for an investigation into certain serious matters.

The human rights activist says hardly eight or nine people were released during the first eight months of 2020 which is lower than the recovery ratio of missing persons in the past years.

According to a fact sheet available with Naya Daur updated on August 20, 2020, a total of 1,511 people are missing from different parts of the country, 419 have been released, 174 have been traced, 68 have been reported as dead.

‘Trip to northern area’:

Murtaza Sulangi, a senior journalist says those who abducted him would never allow him to speak. Matiullah Jan, a senior journalist who had also been picked from Islamabad’s posh sector, in his tweet writes: ‘Northern areas are very beautiful and he had made a visit to the area while leaving his car parked outside a school.’

Mubashir Zaidi, another senior journalist, in his tweet writes that Sajid Gondal walked to the northern area for an outing while parking his car outside the Agriculture Department.

Asad Ali Turi tweets it is an easy practice to direct a government officer to issue such statements but there should be some logic in the statement at least.

According to Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, the PM made it clear in the cabinet that it was unacceptable for people to “disappear” as laws are present to deal with all manner of crimes. In this regard, strict orders were given to the IG & interior ministry on this issue.

Hamid Mir said that the police have directed the officer to record statements keeping in mind that he has to record his statement before the court as well. The missing SECP officer has narrated the entire story of his kidnapping to police and now the police will take a written statement from him, he further tweets.


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