The Defense of Human Rights (DHR) held its last press conference of 2021 in the National Press Club in Islamabad on Thursday where the group said that it would march to Islamabad if the government did not take any serious, concrete measures for the recovery of the missing persons. The participants said that the New Year will bring new hope for the families of the missing persons who are longing for the recovery of their loved ones.
DHR Chairperson Amna Masood Janjua was chairing the press conference on Thursday. Addressing the gathering, the speakers said that 2021 was more challenging as compared to the previous years. They said that Pakistan’s COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES has failed the family members of missing persons. They have had to file cases in high courts across the country in pursuit of justice. The DHR alone has filed 20 cases of enforced disappearances in 2021, the speakers said.
The DHR also released its annual report of 2021 and said that it would continuously work for the supremacy of the constitution in the country. Being unconstitutional and illegal, enforced disappearances are condemnable, DHR said.
Speaking to the journalists and reporters, the leaders of the DHR said that forcefully abducting people and keeping their families uninformed of their whereabouts and condition is brutal and inhumane. The Nazis used this tactic for their nefarious designs, and the Pakistani state is now following in in their footsteps.
The leaders said that the intelligence and the law enforcement agencies of the country are being used as a tool for enforced disappearances. They said that the issue of enforced disappearances have become deeply entrenched in society, and the authorities have neglected it for the past two decades. “Enforced disappearances are a horrible reflection of the grave human rights situation in Pakistan”, the leaders said.
The DHR leaders said that all five provinces of the country are plagued with the problem. The families of the victims have been screaming for justice for the past several years, but to no avail. They said if the government does not take concrete measures for putting an end to the practice and the recovery of the missing persons, the DHR will march to Islamabad and hold a sit-in protest.