Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the recommendations to amend the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to declare enforced disappearances a criminal offence. PM Imran was apprised that the elimination of enforced disappearances “is a need of the hour” and for that, amendment to the PPC is required to declare such abductions a criminal offence.
This decision was made during a meeting chaired by prime minister and attended by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari and other officials. It is an important step to resolve the issue of missing persons and stop forced disappearances in the country.
On August 31 last year, Dr Mazari vowed to bring an end to enforced disappearances in the country, adding that, such abductions may be criminalised. The minister had said she was making efforts for the protection of human rights particularly the vulnerable segments of society, including women and children.
On Monday, while speaking to students of the Sindh Madrasatul Islam University (SMIU), Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari had said that the draft to declare ‘enforced disappearances’ a criminal offence has been prepared in consultation with all stakeholders.
“We are committed to ensuring rule of law and protection of fundamental rights of our citizens guaranteed in the Constitution. Moreover, the ministry has constituted a committee, comprising ministers for interior, law and justice and human rights, to look into the procedural delays and flaws in the existing system of pardon and mercy petitions,” she added.
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17 November, 2019