December 11th, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
Families in Swat and Lower Dir have withdrawn complaints of 19 relatives reported missing since 2008-10 from the districts, according to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance (COIED).
The applications for withdrawal of cases was filed in November, according to the month’s data from the COIED available with Voicepk.net. The period of the individuals’ disappearance coincides with the military operations Rah-e-Haq and Rah-e-Rast against the Taliban militants in the region.
Out of the 19 cases withdrawn, 13 missing persons belonged to Swat while six were residents of Lower Dir. This includes withdrawal of five cases of a single family in Aliabad Kanjo of Swat tehsil. Fazal Kareem withdrew cases of his father Syed Karim and four brothers Umer Ali, Farman, Farhad Khan and Sana Ullah who, according to their complaint, went missing after a military raid on their house on January 7, 2008.
Speaking to Voicepk.net, Fazal Kareem said her mother had launched complaints of the missing family members with the COIED in 2013. Kareem said his family increasingly found it difficult to pursue the cases in the commission after his mother had passed away. “Despite several years, there has been no trace of our father and brothers in the commission,” he said, adding that the family members were poor and no longer afford travel to the COIED hearings.
Kareem said he filed applications for withdrawal of their complaints at the COIED main office in Islamabad on November 20. “The case is closed on the request of the complainant for withdrawal of his case from this Commission, as the complainant has got a legal right to withdraw his case whenever he so desires,” reads the COIED response alongside each of the entries of the family members.
Similarly, the family of Habib Khan, resident of Sharqi Uch village in Adanzai tehsil of Lower Dir, withdrew his case from the COIED on November 28. His brother, Abdul Kabir Khan, the complainant in the case, told Voicepk.net that he signed application for withdrawal of the case after his missing brother’s sons told him that they no longer wished to pursue case of their father missing since January 7, 2009.
The names of other missing persons whose complaints were withdrawn from the COIED included the following:
Rehmat Ullah, resident of Swat, missing since January 7, 2009.
Sufi Jan, resident of Swat, missing since June 12, 2009
Shah Nazar Khan, resident of Swat, missing since January 7, 2008
Malik Zada, resident of Swat, missing since January 8, 2009
Aminullah, son of Muhammad Jamshed, resident of Swat, missing since May 15, 2009.
Amin Ullah, son of Nosherwan, resident of Swat, missing since 2009
Islam-ud-Din, resident of Swat, missing since May 5, 2009.
Fazal Rehman, resident of Lower Dir, missing since October 1, 2009.
Bazeer, resident of Lower Dir, missing since December 19, 2009.
Bahadur Zaib, resident of Lower Dir, missing since March 4, 2010
Liaqat Ali Khan, resident of Lower Dir, missing since October 10, 2009
Ghufran, resident of Lower Dir, missing since July 15, 2009.
Abdul Rahim, resident of Swat, missing since July 1, 2009.
Separately, the COIED deleted cases of 12 missing persons after reports from the Joint Investigation Team and Provincial Task Force stated that these individuals were not in detention of any government intelligence or law enforcement agency. The COIED concluded that the cases do not fall ‘within the ambit of enforced disappearance’.
“After thorough investigation of the case, reports of JIT and PTF in which it had been concluded that the Missing Person had gone on his own denial reports from all stakeholders about apprehension and custody of the Missing Person the Commission has arrived at the conclusion that the case does not fall within the ambit of enforced disappearance. Hence, closed,” reads the COIED entry before each of the deleted case.
In their complaints to the COIED, the families of these individuals reported them missing from 2009 to 2018. The names of the missing individuals deleted on account of JIT/PTF reports include the following:
Saddam Hussain, resident of Charsadda, missing since October 14, 2017.
Jahan Alam, resident of Swat.
Naik Zada, resident of Swat, missing since 2009
Suleman, resident of Mardan, missing since February 19, 2013
Abdullah Jan, resident of Mardan, missing since 2012
Hamad-ud-Din, resident of Mardan, missing since January 7, 2014.
Arsla, resident of Mardan, missing since January 21, 2018
Zahid Ali, resident of Mardan, missing since January 21, 2018
Fazal Rehman, resident of Mohamand Agency (district), missing since March 2, 2011
Gulla Jan, resident of Charsadda, missing since March 16, 2016.
Ubaid-ur-Rehman, missing since April 30, 2010
Muhammad Zubair, resident of Swat, missing since February 19, 2013.
According to COIED data, the commission traced 92 missing persons in November. Out of these traced persons, 92 returned home, 5 individuals were confined in internment centres, 2 others were incarcerated in jails while dead bodies of two missing persons were located.
The COIED deleted 31 cases, including withdrawal of 19 complaints, of not being cases of enforced disappearances. The COIED had disposed of 1249 cases till November, crossing its last highest annual case disposal figure of 898 in 2016. However, the receipt of record 1358 new cases till November has outstripped disposal by 109 cases. The COIED has a backlog of 2232 pending cases.