Missing Persons – Myths and Realities

asia_pakistan_disappearances
  • Reading time:6 mins read
  • Post author:Omay Aimen
  • Post category:Diagnosis

The perpetual propaganda over missing persons in Pakistan is ill-founded and divorced from ground realities. The myth of enforced disappearances has been busted by the facts that most of the ‘so-called missing persons’ have either gone into hiding for personal reasons / tribal feuds or have left their homes to join terrorist organizations including Afghanistan-based TTP, Al Qaeda, ISIS / ISKP and other foreign based terrorist outfits. In its sustained effort to address the issue of Missing Persons, GoP formalized “Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CoIoED)” constituted by Ministry of Interior on directions of Supreme Court of Pakistan on 1 March 2011. Latest stats issued on 1st January 2023 by CoIoED” show that since March 2011, 7001 out of total 9203 (over 76 %) cases of missing persons have been either traced, found or disposed off. It is pertinent to mention that Missing Persons Commission receives multiple types of cases including voluntary disappearances, personal enmity, and absconders etc. The issue of missing persons is being projected by so called Human rights activists and hostile agencies to malign Pakistan’s Law Enforcement Agencies to generate despondency among the masses.

In order to clarify perspective on missing persons, it must be understood that it is a global issue which affects most countries around the world including developed countries like USA, UK and Europe etc. According to US National Crime Information Centre (NCIC) report of 2021, over 521,705 cases of missing persons were reported in USA. As per UK, Missing Persons Unit (MPU) Data Report 2019/20, 325,171 cases of missing persons were reported in 2019/20. As per news report, approx. 11,000 people went missing in Germany in 2018. In regional context, 347,524 missing persons’ cases were reported in India in 2018. Similarly, it is estimated that about 50, 000-60,000 missing persons are listed in Iran.

In order to clarify perspective on missing persons, it must be understood that it is a global issue which affects most countries around the world including developed countries like USA, UK and Europe etc.

While looking at stats of Pakistan, despite Pakistan’s involvement in war against terrorism in past two decades, only 9203 x missing persons’ cases have been registered at Missing Persons’ Commission as of 1st Jan 2023. Out of the given total, 7001 cases (over 76%) have been traced/ resolved while 977 cases (14 %) are detained on the charges of terrorism and 620 individuals (8 %) are in jail on criminal offences. 241 cases (3.4 %) were found dead while 1383 x cases (over 19 %) had miscdisposals (not falling in purview of CoIoED). Certain important factors contributing to missing person’s issue include:

Terrorists killed in attacks inside the country (suicidal bombings etc) are not properly documented. Terrorists (belonging to Pakistan), who attack Pakistani posts along Pakistan-Afghanistan border, are often killed and buried on Afghan side of the border. Madrassah students, who fled to Afghanistan, Syria, or Iraq to fight without knowledge of even their parents, are also categorized as missing persons. Furthermore, a large number of displaced people from North and South Waziristan Districts are still living in various refugee camps. Many individuals who went to Afghanistan were captured by Coalition/ Afghan Security Forces. During investigations at Missing Persons Commission, many cases have emerged where individuals willingly disappeared to avoid arrest by Law Enforcement Agencies. Family feuds, economic difficulties and domestic issues/ abuse are other reasons due to which individuals willingly disappear.

Claim of thousands of missing Baloch by the HR movements / liberal intelligentsia is a political propaganda as there is no tangible data which support their concocted assertions. Allegations of disappearance of Baloch by Pakistan Army and ISI are fictitious. The ignored fact is that a large number of non-Baloch residents of other provinces have been targeted / killed by hostile intelligence agencies or their proxies in the province. Indian foiled attempts to equate “Balochistan with IIOJK” are aimed at hiding its own gross Human Right Violations and diverting public and global attention. From some areas in Balochistan; some miscreants have also taken refuge in Afghanistan or elsewhere in Europe. Making hue and cry is often intended to seek asylum in any rich capital to be followed by citizenship of that country.

On several occasions, after a terrorist attack, the perpetrators were found to be present on the list of missing persons. Case in point is the attack on PC Hotel Gwadar by BLA wherein Hamal Fateh, son of Qadir Khan Marri, was identified among the dead bodies of terrorists but had been previously shown as ‘missing person’ on BLA’s website. On July 30, 2022, Engineer Zaheer Baloch, a youth from Balochistan who was claimed to have been a missing person and presumed to be killed by security forces in Ziarat operation, was found alive, as he appeared on a TV channel, narrating his ordeal following his arrest in Iran.

Disinformation propagated by anti state elements and their foreign based and domestic proxies is to create a wedge between the public and state institutions, to mislead youth, and to defame Pakistan in the international arena.

The author frequently contributes on issues concerning national and regional security. She can be reached at: omayaimen333@gmail.com.

Courtesy by Omay Aimen – Daily Times

Website | + posts

Omay Aimen is a researcher, with an interest in national security, international politics, hybrid warfare & geopolitics. She can be reached at manahil.jaffer786@gmail.com

Omay Aimen

Omay Aimen is a researcher, with an interest in national security, international politics, hybrid warfare & geopolitics. She can be reached at manahil.jaffer786@gmail.com

Leave a Reply