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Pak court slams Imran Khan govt for lack of interest in missing persons' cases

ANI | Updated: Mar 24, 2021 06:30 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], March 24 (ANI): Pakistan's Sindh High Court has reprimanded the Imran Khan government for showing disinterest in the cases of missing persons and deplored that no legislation had so far been made against enforced disappearances.
"We note that the federal government has been making hue and cry about tracing out the missing persons, but it appears from the conduct of the concerned secretaries that this is only for optics and no practical action is being taken," a two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha said on Monday, as quoted by Dawn.
The court further said that it is alarming that no legislation has been passed in respect of criminality for those involved in carrying out enforced disappearances.
While giving a stern warning, the bench granted a last chance to the federal authorities to collect reports from the internment centres regarding missing persons and submit the same in court before the next hearing. The hearing has now been adjourned till April 20.
This comes as Pakistan's Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Shia missing persons and families of enforced disappearance has called for a nationwide protest from April onwards if their family members are not recovered by the end of this month.

Earlier this month, JAC members had expressed concerns over the disappearance of their relatives and alleged that the Pakistan government and state institutions were not serious in their recovery, reported the Dawn.
The JAC members said despite repeated assurances from the Pakistan authorities, the missing persons had not been traced.
Enforced disappearances have been a long stain on Pakistan's human rights record. Despite the pledges of successive governments to criminalise the practice, there has been a very slow movement on legislation, while people continue to be forcibly disappeared with impunity.
Enforced disappearance has been used as a tool by the Pakistani state to silence the minority communities. While countless abductees have been killed, many of them are still facing inhuman torture in army secrets cells. (ANI)