Pakistan’s Awami National Party (ANP) has demanded the government to ensure the safe return of persons who have been forcibly disappeared, including Asad Khan Achakzai, a spokesman of ANP Balochistan.
According to a report by Dawn, the ANP held protests across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the enforced disappearances of people in different provinces and demanded the government to ensure safe return of the missing persons.The Peshawar rally was led by Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Samar Haroon Bilour, Abidullah Yousufzai and other leaders of the party.The families of the missing persons also participated in the rally demanding the safe return of their dear ones.
Speakers on the occasion said that relatives of the missing people were left with the only option to hold demonstrations because the government was least bothered to take practical steps for their return, Dawn reported.
Among the missing persons is Asad Khan Achakzai, a spokesman of ANP Balochistan. He has been missing for the past five months. The News International quoted the ANP leaders as saying that the missing supporters of the party should be produced in a court of law if they were wanted by police in any unlawful activity.
“We demand the government to take urgent steps for the presentation of the people in courts of law for trial,” said Ghulam Ahmad Bilour.
While addressing the rally in Charsadda ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan said that the “mothers and sisters of missing persons were wandering on roads but nobody gave heed to their requests”.
He pointed that according to the available data over 6,000 people are missing across the country, of which 23 were forcibly disappeared in January.In Mardan, ANP senior vice-president and former chief minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said that “it would be criminal negligence if they remained silent over the issue of missing persons”.
The protest rallies were also held in Kurram tribal district, Malakand and several other parts of the province seeking recovery of missing persons.
Enforced disappearances have been a long stain on Pakistan’s human rights record. Despite the pledges of successive governments to criminalize the practice, there has been a very slow movement on legislation which is equal to nothing, while people continue to be forcibly disappeared with impunity.