Speakers demand committee to sort out issue of missing persons(The News)

Its a real shame for us that even in this modern age of civilization our people have no value infront of our governments who in order to satisfy their foreign friends can even sell their own sons of the soils and give no value for the human rights given to them by the conctitution or the collective sense of humanity and justice.


Speakers demand committee to sort out issue of missing persons(The News)

By Myra Imran

Scenes of intense emotions dominated a seminar titled ‘Do countries sell their own people?’ as relatives of missing persons continued their efforts to retrieve their dear ones.
Screams of mother of Syed Asad Hussain, recently picked up from G-7, echoed during speeches made by prominent political leaders, representatives of civil society and student organisations and the leaders of lawyer’s movement. Among the big names attending the event were Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Justice (r) Wajihuddin, Lieutenant-General (r) Hameed Gul and Sardar Asmat Ullah.

In addition to expressing their solidarity with the aggrieved families, they assured them that time for President Pervez Musharraf to go had arrived. They demanded that a parliamentary committee be made to sort out the issue of missing persons.

A big gathering of people from all walks of life went to show that the peaceful movement started by wives and mothers of missing persons had gained momentum with time, especially now when more and more political leaders have openly joined hands with them.

In her emotional speech, Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of Defence of Human Rights and wife of Masood Janjua who went missing three years ago, said that wives and mothers of missing persons were not brave people but their hearts were broken which had made them fearless. “People want electricity and ‘atta’ but we just want our family members back,” she said.

She thanked her children for standing by her and giving her hope when she was about to give up. “I want to say sorry to them as I promised that I would bring back their father but I have not been able to do so,” she said, her voice choking and tears in her eyes.

She said that it was their right to see and meet their relatives. She said that human right organisations have estimated 5,000 such cases. Zafar Jan from Balochistan said that since March 2005, 12,000 people were reported missing only in Balochistan.

Imran Khan said that the president might remember the exact figure of American soldiers killed after 9/11 but he would have no idea of how many of his people had been killed or gone missing after that attack.

He said that the same government tried its best to capture the killers of Daniel Pearl but for the 40 people killed in Karachi on May 12 it said inquiry was not important.

Criticizing the double standards of US policies, he said that Americans talk against terrorism but their ambassador held talks with Altaf Hussain in England who he claimed was responsible for killing hundreds of innocent people.

Expressing his doubts on the present government, Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that the way those leaders were holding talks with American and British envoys shows that they were following the same dictates. “Our problems can only be solved when we become independent of US pressures,” he said.

Qazi said that aid that the government was getting in exchange of young people was spent on the luxury of elite class. “When the elite class becomes ready to spent life like a common Pakistani, half of our issues will be resolved,” he added.

Ghazal Minallah said that such policies were promoting militancy as people were left with no choice for they did not trust the judiciary. “If my children go missing like that and I have no place to go for justice then chances of me becoming a suicide bomber are very likely,” she said, adding that it was an ongoing torture for the families and a matter of shame for the nation for staying silent on the issue.

Justice (r) Wajihuddin said that Pakistan and US had no extradition treaty under which Pakistani people could be given to US government.

He said that even at the time of British rule in subcontinent, declared terrorists had to be presented before magistrate in 24 hours.

Urging people to join the movement, Hameed Gul said that if the movement against oppressors failed this time, things might never change. “We do not want western-styled democracy for it failed to deliver justice and was used as a tool to exploit the rest of the world,” he mentioned.