September 28th, 2020
The Prime Minister should probe into the extension of three years given to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances as the commission has been a source of frustration for victims, said Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of Defence of Human Rights Pakistan.
In a press conference in Islamabad, on Monday, September 28, Janjua termed the extension of the COIED ‘surprising’, adding that the government recently formed a ministerial committee to curb the practice of enforced disappearance in the country. The mandate of the fresh committee was similar to that of the commission given 10 years ago, but the commission had failed miserably in discharging its duties, she said. “The span of the failure is not just about a few months but over ten years,” she said. The commission neither could bring the perpetrators of enforced disappearance to justice nor could recover missing persons, she added.
Janjua said Federal Minister for Law Barrister Farogh Nasim had been appointed convener of the new committee. She said the DHR, in collaboration with other human rights organizations, has sent a letter to the federal law minister requesting that victims of enforced disappearance and their representatives should be given a chance to present their perspective to the committee.
“DHR Pakistan wants to present certain recommendations before the new committee which includes the formation of a limited time commission comprising one serving and one retired high court Justice from each province, headed by a serving Supreme Court judge, besides abolishing the existing ineffective Commission on Enforced disappearance,” Amina Janjua told reporters. The new limited-time commission must identify perpetrators of enforced disappearance and put forward solid recommendations to stop its practice in the future, she added. The DHR also wanted to present a proposed law against enforced disappearance to the committee. Amina Janjua expressed the hope that the Prime Minister shall make the new committee fruitful with his personal attention.