Pakistan Must End Enforced Disappearances, Says Amnesty International


LONDON – A top human rights watchdog on Tuesday slammed the Pakistan government for its failure to resolve hundreds of cases of alleged disappearance in the country.

“The Pakistan government has made little progress in resolving hundreds of cases of alleged disappearance, while new incidents are being reported around the country,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s (AI) Asia-Pacific director.

The London-based Amnesty called for immediate ending of the widespread practice of enforced disappearance in Pakistan and appealed to authorities in Islamabad to ensure, those detained have full access to lawyers and the courts.

The briefing of AI, “The Bitterest of Agonies: End enforced disappearances in Pakistan”, published on the International Day of the Disappeared, highlights the plight of hundreds of people who have been arbitrarily detained and held in secret facilities in Pakistan since late 2001, when the country became a key ally in the US-led “war on terror”.

The whereabouts of all of these victims remains unknown. People accused of involvement in terrorism and political opponents of the Pakistani government, such as members of Pakistan’s Sindhi and Baloch nationalist groups, are among those increasingly subjected to enforced disappearance.

“Despite three years of promises to resolve this crisis, hundreds of families are desperate to learn about the fates of their loved ones,” Zarifi said.