A senior official of Amnesty International has confirmed existence of thousands of enforced disappearances cases in Pakistan.
Omar Waraich, Deputy South Asia Director of Amnesty International, has said that enforced disappearances has been a problem in Pakistan for a very long time and intensification in these crimes have worringly been observed in last few years.
Mr. Waraich was speaking during a protest by a campaign group, South Asia Solidarity, in front of the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo.
Campaign group South Asia Solidarity in Sri Lanka also showed concern over rising incidents of enforced disappearances, torture and killing of political activities in Pakistan.
Speaking during the protest, Omar Waraich, Deputy South Asia Director of Amnesty International, said, “We are here to express solidarity with the victims and families of those enforced disappeared in Pakistan”.
He added: ‘People are being disappeared from all parts of the country for expressing the peaceful human rights. We have seen disappearances from Balochistan, Sindh’s Karachi, Punjab and other major cities’.
South Asia Solidarity submitted a petition signed by International human rights activists to Pakistan High Commission in Colombo and demanded justice and accountability for those disappeared in Pakistan.
Omar Waraich said, “Enforced disappearance is a cruel crime, which involves denial of several rights, it denies the person the rights to legal representation. It denies the right to fair trial. It denies them protection against torture. We have found there are thousands of cases in Pakistan of enforced disappearances”.
“Pakistan is an elected member of United Nations Human Rights Council and therefore it has obligations to hold the highest human rights standards in the world. We have seen Pakistan, sadly, fails to meet these standards on a regular basis”, added Waraich.
South Asia Solidarity said in a press release that Pakistani abductees are sometimes released after weeks or even years, often reporting interrogation under conditions of neglect or torture by the state.
However, there remains a large number of unresolved cases, with Pakistani families of the disappeared desperately seeking answers and justice from the government of Pakistan.
Although a consolidated number of outstanding disappearances does not exist but, the Pakistan Commission of inquiry into Enforced Disappearances counts 1,640 unresolved cases out of 4,804 reported.
Enforced disappearances are prevalent in the resource-rich Balochistan where Pakistani forces resort to brutal means to suppress Baloch ‘pro-freedom’ groups.
The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons claims over 18,000 cases of enforced disappearances in this region alone.