ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Human Rights (HRs) on Thursday took up the issue of the disappeared Turkish family working for Pak-Turk Schools from Lahore and decided to summon relevant officials of federal and provincial governments in its next meeting.
The issue came up in the committee after the conclusion of the business of the day.
Senator Farhatullah Babar brought it up as ‘any other item with the permission of the Chair’ saying that the spectre of vanishing citizens had now extended to the disappearance of foreigners, and called for immediate parliamentary intervention.
The committee unanimously agreed, with some members suggesting that the victims’ families should also be invited. But it was decided that in the first instance, relevant officials be asked to brief the committee and provide answers to the questions arising out of the facts that have so far come to surface.
Farhatullah Babar has also submitted a ‘Calling Attention’ notice and a motion on the disappearance of Mesut Kacmaz and his family from Lahore on September 27. “The style and manner of kidnapping bear the signatures of all too familiar kidnappings brazenly taking place in the country with alarming impunity,” the notice said.
The Pak-Turk School network in Pakistan earned the state’s ire in the wake of the failed coup in Turkey and witnessed a massive crackdown recently, it said, adding that this background makes it even more urgent before a sinister narrative gains currency that the state itself might be involved.
Senator Mohsin Leghari said that Pakistan should not become a party to internal political wrangling in Turkey.
The meeting was presided over by Senator Nasreen Jalil to take up the agenda items including the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill 2017, and payment of compensation to affectees released recently from Bagram Prison in Afghanistan referred to it by the Senate last month.
The meeting was also attended by Senators Nisar Muhammad Khan, Sitara Ayaz, Karim Ahmad Khawaja, Samina Saeed, Kalsoom Perveen, and Sehar Kamran and among Mohsin Leghari and Farhatullah Babar.
The issue of enforced disappearances is also listed on the agenda of the requisitioned session of Senate on September 10.
According to details, the Turkish family was picked up by over a dozen armed people in plain clothes, including women. Hooded and handcuffed, the family were bundled in a wagon and driven to a house.