54 or 16? How many are ‘missing’ in Sindh


With the apex court hearing the missing persons’ case, the federal and provincial authorities have failed to ascertain the exact number of persons missing in the Sindh province as the Interior Ministry puts the number at 54 but the provincial administration claims only 16 are missing, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to federal government figures, the total number of missing persons – allegedly picked up by secret law enforcement agencies – from Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stands at 416, with at least 54 belonging to Sindh. However, the Sindh Home Department puts the number at 16.
In October 2009, the Interior Ministry had forwarded to the Sindh Home Department a list containing the names of 16 “missing” people for tracing them out. Interestingly, the list also mentioned the names of people who were living free, such as Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) leader Dr Safdar Sarki and Karachi resident Zeeshan Jalil, who was earlier imprisoned in the Adiala Jail, sources told Pakistan Today.
“In January 2010, the Interior Ministry again forwarded a list of missing persons from Sindh but this time the number of these people stood at 54,” the sources said.
Then Home secretary, Arif Khan, in reaction to the mistake by higher authorities and ensuring strict compliance with the Supreme Court directives, wrote a letter to the Interior Ministry pinpointing at the apathy of the authorities concerned.
The Sindh Home Department also requested the Interior Ministry and the National Crisis and Management Cell (NCMC) to forward another verified and accurate list so that the early recovery of the missing persons could be ensured. “However, the provincial authorities are still waiting for the fresh list from the Centre,” the sources added.
As per the Interior Ministry directives, the Sindh government was supposed to publish a detailed list of all missing persons in leading newspapers so that proper information including the whereabouts of these people can be ascertained but no advertisements have been published so far.
The people who were allegedly picked up from various parts of the Sindh province include Abdul Karim Mehmood (missing since June 12, 2003); Ghulam Rabbani and his brother Ahmed Ghulam Rabbani (September 11, 2002); Ali Muhammad (May 4, 2004); Qari Muhammad Aslam, Rana Asif and Ayaz Baladi (June 26, 2006); Jahangir (March 13, 2005); Abdul Raheem, Muhammad Israr (October 10, 2006); Mustafa Azeem (September 13, 2006); Abdul Sattar Hakro (November 10, 2005); Chetan Kumar (July 12, 2006); GM Bhagat (September 9, 2006); Ghulam Shabir Soomro (October 18, 2005); Gul Mohammad (November 18, 2005); Gulzar Lone (May 23, 2006); and Hafiz Khan Mohammad Chang (missing since September 2004).