Remarks of Caretaker PM about Disappearances criticized “insensitive, provocative”

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Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar

DNA

ISLAMABAD, JAN 2: Senator Farhatullah Babar President Human Rights Cell PPP has issued the following statement today.

The remarks by the caretaker Prime Minister Mr. Anwaarul Haq Kakar at a press conference in Lahore on New Year eve about the Baloch women protesting in Islamabad are most insensitive, provocative and amount to deviously skirting the real issues of people of Balochistan.

On the eve of New Year the caretaker PM who himself hails from Balochistan should have sought to put balm on the wounds of the people.

 Instead he chose, as people intoxicated with reflected power and glory often do, to rub salt into the wounds of the people of the province. This is most unfortunate and condemnable.

Worse still Mr. Kakar said about those who raise voice for the victims of enforced disappearances, “Advocates of terrorist in Balochistan should go and join them so that we know where they stand and how to deal with them”.  Even those who are accused of involvement in enforced disappearances have not employed such lowly and provocative language.

No one is advocating terrorists. By equating protests against disappearances with advicating terrorism the  caretaker PM is either ignorant or deliberately deflects the issue. The demand is only that those enforcedly disappeared should be produced before courts and dealt with in accordance with the law and the Constitution and no more. What is wrong with it?

The enforced disappearances in Balochistan and in other parts of the country are a fact and a black spot on the state.  Strong voices will continue to be raised against it, no matter what threats the caretaker PM hurls at those who raise such a voice.

Those who deny the very existence of enforced disappearances and or have any doubt about who are involved in it should read the SC verdict of December 10, 2013 in the case of disappearance of 28 inmates from Malakand internment centre.

They may also read the minutes of the August 28, 2018 meeting of the Senate Committee of Human Rights. 

They may also like to recall the statement of ISPR on July 5, 2019 acknowledging that some missing persons indeed were in the custody of the army and also acknowledged the setting up of a “special cell on missing persons in the GHQ”. All these are public documents known to everyone except it seems to Mr. Kakar.

The caretaker PM owes an apology to the people particularly to the people of Balochistan and would be well advised to withdraw the same. His thoughtless remarks will haunt him and the people of Balochsitan even long after he is no longer the caretaker PM and has been consigned to the dustbin of history.