web analytics

Culture of Missing & Unknown

The term “Missing Persons” has become an ever-growing phenomenon and it is spreading like a disease within Pakistan. Missing person refers to a human being who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and fate is not known.

But in Pakistan, such term refers to a person who has disappeared due to illegal detention by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA); such prisoners are often assaulted, tortured in captivity till they confess to a crime they never committed. If authorities are unable to full-fill their desires; inhumane level of torture is used and often it exceeds the threshold of pain, which leads to murder; if they are fortunate enough to survive they spent rest of their life in misery. Mutated bodies are thrown in piles of trash, found in a gunny bag throughout the city, from highways to busy shopping centers; or may even end up at a morgue as an unknown person.

The culture of missing and unknown has dated back to little over two decades, when 28 political workers belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had disappeared between 1992 and 1996. The families claimed that their sons were actually taken away by law-enforcement agencies, but they were never shown arrested or produced before any court of law.

In 1997, the then interior minister Chaudhry Shujaat, had claimed in National Assembly that 28 MQM men were killed and their bodies were dumped in the Margalla Hills, Islamabad. Till this date a judicial reference is pending in Supreme Court, with no result insight; the families of victims simply appeal “We should be informed even if they were killed by the law-enforcement agencies.”

The nation stood quietly and observed these violations of human rights occur rather infrequently. This venom has spread throughout the country as we witnessed numerous disappear from Baluchistan and hundreds more in the name of insurgency in war against terrorism.

Recently, Pakistan’s Metropolis, Karachi has seen an increased number of missing person within the last year. This time MQM is the target once again, with more than 45 missing since the last year alone and 13 subjected to extra-judicial killings; for many cases there are video evidence available which evidently shows the missing or deceased being arrested from home, office or public places being escorted and arrested by LEAs. But the citizens and the media watched the blatant lies unfold, but the relevant authorities are untouched by it, as action is yet to be taken.

An ongoing operation against criminals has been diverted upon citizens belonging to specific ethnic background and upon an opposition political party (MQM); its political workers and innocent citizens have been arrested or captivated in broad day light and some in late evening hours by known Law Enforcement Agencies. Precisely, claim were made that LEA’s did not arrest them; later demands of heavy extortions are put forth, innocent citizens are tortured and assaulted inhumanely while in illegal detention. They’re deprived of basic human rights. Those who survived such inhumane acts state, they were torture and were told to accept a crime they never committed, they are beaten by heavy metal item, burning rods inserted, electrocuted with current on throughout the body, on facial organs & genital; and were later handed over to families at the police station in near dying condition.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has taken a notice of this incidence and called for an investigation in this regards. While, we the citizens can hope for this situation to improve, the odds aren’t looking likely.


Facebook Comments