Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar has said that the issue of enforced disappearances will not be addressed effectively until legislation is made for reigning in state’s intelligence agencies.
He stated this during a discussion in the Senate on issues of public importance when Senator Hafiz Hamdullah raised the mysterious disappearance of a cleric Mufti Amir Zaman in Attock.
Babar said that the Senate Human Rights Committee had proposed a legislation which was subsequently endorsed late last year by the Senate Committee of the Whole on speedy and inexpensive justice.
He said that the draft legislation also provide for punishment for holding any accused in unlawful detention and without bringing the charges against them.
He said that the Senate Committee of the Whole had also decided that in case the government failed to bring up the proposed legislation to rein in the agencies within 60 days then the Senate will adopt it as Private Member’s Bill with the support of leaders of parliamentary parties.
Saying that the 60-day period had since expired he asked Col Tahir Mashhadi who was presiding the session to give a ruling to lay the bill as private member’s bill.
He also asked that the case of mysteriously disappeared cleric and four other human rights activists who recently disappeared in Badin be referred to the Senate Committee on Human Rights, a suggestion which Col Mashahdi accepted and referred the matter to the Senate committee.