August 22nd, 2021
By Umar Bacha
A protest was held outside the National Press Club Islamabad on Friday the occasion of the three-year anniversary of Mudassir Naru’s disappearance. At the protest his three-and-a-half-year-old son, Sachal stood trying to understand what is going on, “What is Azadi (freedom)?” while gripping a toy in his hand. This is not the first time Sachal is attending a protest for the release of his father. Demonstrations like these have been ongoing for the last three years but to no avail.
Mudassar Naru, a working journalist, and cameraman disappeared while on a vacation in Naran on August 20, 2018, and has not been seen since.
“Sachal was merely 6 months of age when Mudassir was picked up today he is three and a half years old and there is still no sign of Naru. His mother, Sadaf, stood with us last year at this very moment in Lahore when we demonstrated for Naru’s release but she died while awaiting his return,” explains Rahat Bibi, Mudassir Naru’s mother.
“I sometimes fear that we too will die like Sadaf before ever being able to see our son again. What will happen to Sachal after we too are gone,” asks Rahat Bibi.
Apart from Mudassar Naru’s family, PPP general secretary Farhatullah Babar, journalist Asma Shirazi, lawyers, and other political and social figures attended the demonstration in front of the Islamabad Press Club and demanded Mudassar Naru’s immediate release.
“Mudassir Naru’s father has filed a constitutional petition demanding his release and I along with my organization, the Journalist Defense Committee (JDC), is representing him in the matter,” explains Usman Warraich, Mudassir Naru’s family lawyer.
“In my opinion, there is no legal hurdle towards Naru’s release it is just a matter of will. If the concerned institutions have the will to see these people released they’ll be released,” concludes Warraich.
In addition to the usual procedure in the commission for inquiry on enforced disappearance, Mudassir’s parents have also filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to try to get him released, but progress has been painstakingly slow.
On May 8, 2021, Mudassir Naru’s wife, Sadaf, died of a heart attack leaving their three-and-a-half-year-old son without a father and a mother, activists have demanded Naru’s release so that his son may grow up under the wings of a parent.