Pakistan cabinet sets up committee to probe enforced disappearances

Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs meeting of the Federal Cabinet at PM Office Islamabad on 15th September, 2020. (PID Photo)
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Updated 17 September 2020

Pakistan cabinet sets up committee to probe enforced disappearances

  • Committee will deliberate “reasons behind enforced disappearances and give recommendations on how to control these incidents”
  • This month’s mysterious disappearance of an SECP official has once more put the spotlight on continuing cases of enforced disappearances in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani cabinet has approved setting up a committee to probe continuing cases of enforced disappearances in the country, a government notification said this week, as this month’s mysterious disappearance of a government official once more put the spotlight on the continuing practice in Pakistan.

The seven-member committee will comprise of the ministers of law and human rights, the Pakistani prime minister’s special adviser on accountability, the chief commissioner and inspector general of Islamabad police, and a representative each from the ISI and the Intelligence Bureau spy agencies. 

The committee will “deliberate on the reasons behind enforced disappearances and give recommendations on how to control these incidents,” the notification said. 

A federal Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances set up by the government in 2011 listed 6,506 such cases nationwide by the end of 2019. And despite the pledges of successive Pakistani governments to criminalize the practice, there has been slow movement on legislation and people continue to be forcibly disappeared.

At a court hearing earlier this month over the disappearance of Sajid Gondal, a Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan official who went missing, investigation officer Malik Naeem said he was investigating 50 cases of missing persons in Islamabad alone.

Gondal has since returned home. 

Pakistan’s secret services are often blamed for enforced disappearances, though they vociferously deny the allegations. 


Pakistan PM launches Arabic language Twitter account

Updated 26 min 52 sec ago

Pakistan PM launches Arabic language Twitter account

  • Khan has 12.5 million followers on his official Twitter account, the largest of any Pakistani
  • Pakistan enjoys close ties with many Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office has launched a new Twitter handle @ArabicIk to put out news and information about the PM in the Arabic language.
The account, which was launched in May 2020, has videos of Khan’s speeches and interviews along with Arabic messages.
Khan has 12.5 million followers on his official Twitter account, the largest of any Pakistani.
Pakistan enjoys close ties with many Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Around 3 million Pakistani expats live and work in Saudi Arabia and UAE is also the second largest labor market for Pakistan workers.