Press Release 20/03/21
Defence of Human Rights Pakistan organized a national consultative summit on the issue of enforced disappearances, the aim of which was to chalk out a strategy to end enforced disappearances in Pakistan. The summit provided an opportunity to evaluate and refine commitments and pledges from key stakeholders.
The summit was moderated by Mrs. Amina Masood Janjua throughout the four sessions of the event. The introduction and discussion revolving around enforced disappearances were focused on including the views and opinions of the families of the victims, journalists, activists, politicians, lawyers, and human rights experts from different parts of the country. The consultative summit had representation from all provinces and territories of Pakistan. The prominent ones among the speakers were:
- Media Society: Hamid Mir from Geo News, Matiullah Jan from MJtv, Sabookh Syed from IBC Urdu, and Shakeel Turabi from Sabah News
- Activist Group: Ammar Ali Jan; member of Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement, Nasrullah Baloch; Vice Chairperson of Voice of Baloch Missing Persons, Sindh Inaam; from Sindh Sabha, Baba Jan from Gilgit Baltistan, Raja Muneer from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Tahira Abdullah from Islamabad and Jalal ud Din Wazriristani from Waziristan
- Legal Society: Imtiaz Haider; advocate of High Court, Umer Gillani; advocate of the High Courts
- Political Society: Farhatullah Babar; member of Pakistan’s People Party, Syed Pervaiz Zahoor; on behalf of BNP Mengal Group in Balochistan
Multiple sessions under the following topics were conducted during the summit:
- Role of media in highlighting the issue of enforced disappearances and problems faced by it in reporting enforced disappearances, including media censorship & curbs on freedom of speech.
- Role of constitutional courts in tackling the issue of enforced disappearances, particularly in the context of upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the constitutional rights of citizens
- Role of the executive (Ministry of Human Rights etc.) and legislative (National Assembly, Senate, etc.) bodies in resolving the issue of enforced disappearances and promoting accountability of state institutions
- Role of civil society and human rights defenders in dealing with the issue of enforced disappearances and providing support to the victims
The participants of the summit presented their proposals for the complete elimination of enforced disappearances. Copies of the recommendations made at the National Consultative Meeting were provided to members of the National and Provincial Assemblies, Human Rights Committees, all High Courts, Army Chiefs and Heads of Intelligence Agencies
Defence of Human Rights Pakistan