Farhatullah Babar predicts nationwide movement against enforced disappearances


ISLAMABAD: Farhatullah Babar said on Thursday that protesting voices against the extra-judicial killings, mysterious disappearances of citizens and Guantanamo Bay-like centres in the tribal areas were becoming louder, predicting that the state would no longer be able to suppress it.

Addressing a camp of the relatives of missing persons organised by the Defence of Human Rights Pakistan at National Press Club in Islamabad, he said that some invisible hands were manipulating workers of the political parties at the lower level against the challengers of state narrative, warning that such efforts would backfire.

He explained that some PPP workers were lured in two tribal agencies recently to condemn a newly launched movement against the missing persons that had origins in FATA.

Babar noted that his party had taken notice of it and the concerned workers were issued show cause notices.

He called for making public the report of the 2012 visit to Pakistan of the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances as well as the report of the first Commission on Enforced Disappearances.

The ex-senator said that although the present commission had been in place for six years and was able to recover hundreds of missing persons, it had miserably failed to expose the hands behind the mysterious disappearances even though there was a provision in the law that empowered and required it to do so.

He also called for disbanding the present commission and replacing it with a new one which should include expert investigators and be required to make the reports public.

The PPP leader said that the lawyers’ movement had achieved what had initially appeared impossible. It will be no surprise if a nationwide movement against enforced disappearances is launched, he added.

If indigenous movements, like Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), are dubbed as anti-state, a severe backlash will be faced, he warned.

The former senator said that 2018 was an election year and urged political parties to include the mysterious disappearances and other related human rights issues in their manifestos. He said that the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto had already directed the manifesto committee in this regard.


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