Enforced Disappearance in Pakistan takes place when an authoritarian ruler wants to silence opposition with a conscience, by terrorizing them through terror.
“Every night he appears in my dreams and during the day I cry all the time,” says a mother of a missing son. This is exactly what the devil ordered – living in Limbo.
Enforced disappearance is a symptom of a society like Pakistan that only believes in might is right – there is no room for “others”.
Definition of “Enforced Disappearance” in the United Nations.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) endorsed in 2010, defined disappearance to mean
“the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by the refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or the concealment of the fact or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which places such a person outside the protection of the law.”
This is a favorite technique of suppressing dissent by dictators, especially military ones.
Enforced Disappearance in Pakistan, the recent spike in events of abduction, extrajudicial murders, and incarceration without charge with complete impunity, is a symptom of the same disease.
Abductions were limited to “Indian trained local militants” in KhyberPakhtoonKhwa and Baluchistan that have now spilled over into the mainstream society and political domain.
Human Rights activists, Journalists, Whistleblowers, and even military officers are not safe.
This has to stop
History of Forced and Involuntary Disappearances.
The process of making enforced disappearance illegal started after the French Revolution, gained momentum after the WWII killing of civilians by Nazi Germany and reached a crescendo with the murderous juntas of South America.
Finally, in 2010, The UN adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED).
France and the EU are still at the forefront of stopping this menace.
Pakistan signed the Convention but did not ratify it, but is still bound not to illegally detain people. So, Enforced Disappearance in Pakistan is illegal, internationally.
This was a long time coming from the world powers, but at least it is a start.
Enforced Disappearance in Mexico Hybrid Regime like in Pakistan
Mexico is a typical example of a hybrid state wracked with multiple military coups that have led to the general desensitization of the missing person issue there.
The hybrid Regimes like Mexico and Pakistan may be good for world powers to grind their ax but is bad for the people who believe in the rights of the oppressed.
Although “disappearing” a person from public life, against their will is considered a violation of human rights, the previous conventions and agreements were limited to “large-scale arrests and detention” only.
Also, the world community considered “missing persons” due to political opinions, an internal matter of a State.
Tyrannical rulers got away with torture and murder this way.
Countries with weakened Human Protection Institutions are ideal countries for dictators to flourish by using the “disappearing” tool.
Pakistan fits such a country to a T.
The motivation for Pakistan not to Ratify the Convention of Force Disappearances
International Convention of Forced Disappearance was not ratified by Pakistan, likely because:-
- India didn’t sign
- Pakistan has too many foreign indoctrinated fighters in its territory
In both cases, Pakistan needs to build its political institutions to counter foreign enemies, not tyrannize the local population.
Right now Pakistan increasingly looks like an uncivilized country that does not respect human life.
Furthermore, foreign indoctrination has to be countered by political movements, not keeping critics incommunicado.
Pakistan’s Defense of Human Rights group reports a figure of 5000 or more “disappeared or missing” persons.
The battle of narrative has gone so sour, that Pakistan’s government agencies now resorted to abducting journalists, ex-Army officers, online critics, whistle-blowers, and even established politicians.
Just to keep the records straight, none of the dictators that have used abduction as an instrument of policy have survived being ridiculed by their people – it’s a lost battle.
It has happened in South America, the Middle East, India, and Bangladesh and now Pakistan is headed there – again.
These government functionaries that conduct these abductions, detention, and re-indoctrination are called to enjoy complete impunity because the top politician has very little executive power.
Pakistan’s Commission for Enforced Disappearances.
The Commission for Enforced Disappearance in Pakistan was created to divert the World’s pressure away from the mess at home.
This largely powerless organization, reports that there are still 2178 outstanding cases with them.
Even the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has commented in their recent report about Pakistan “not a single functionary (abductor) has been prosecuted in 9 years” and “impunity has not been addressed”
Pakistan’s draft law to prosecute the perpetrator of forced disappearances is stuck in the catacomb of government corridors.
Enforced Disappearance Cases in Pakistan
The missing persons are mostly from the Khyberpakhtoonkhwa, Baluchistan, and Sindh province. There are some from militant religious organizations as well.
The worst part is one is a researcher from the Human Rights group, there was a lawyer, a reporter, and some activists.
All these years of not controlling the menace of lawlessness have come home to Roost.
Missing persons in Pakistan list
The irony of the situation is that the only State institute pursuing mission Person cases in the Enforced Disappearances Commission in Pakistan, does not have any list of missing persons posted on their site.
How will people help, if there are no names and identifications there?
Also, the site has spelling mistakes, just like the people who work there.
Even the Enforced Disappearances Link Human Rights Commission site in Pakistan doesn’t work.
Where did Pakistan go wrong in Human Rights as a democracy?
How did Pakistan, a country founded on principles of Justice, human values, Equality of races, classes, and political thought become so regressive?
The answer lies in financially starved political institutions.
Out of 73 Years of Pakistan’s existence, the military has ruled the country directly or indirectly, most of the time – supported by the USA.
As long as the Pakistani dictator kept working in the USA’s interest, he was feted in the highest echelons of power in the USA.
This has never allowed funds to flow into the political institutions, structures, and people who should be the real beneficiaries of a new country.
The result is a country with poor rule of law, under-capacity institutions, poor law and order, an overbearing military, ambitious clerics, corrupt politicians, government functionaries, and a nonexistent genuine middle class.
Putting it simply, no rule of law equals enforced disappearance in Pakistan.
What is the Pakistani Elite like?
Now we have the quad elite of power-hungry military generals, clerics, businessmen, and politicians who have no opposition at all and are gnawing at the remains of this country’s carcass.
The one with the guns mostly wins.
The rest of the population has to decide which master out of the four will they surrender their conscience to for the rest of their lives.
People with a conscience and burning faith in Human respect end up on the list of enforced disappearances in Pakistan, along with the terrorists, murderers, and militants.
None of this quad wants to let go of power and conduct local body elections so that ordinary men can benefit.
The hapless and unprotected population is fed the falsehood of a 5G war, Islam being under threat, poor business environment, and interference by the establishment to hide the grandest heist of all by this quad of cheats.
The poor population left to the mercy of the elements does not dare raise their voice against obvious injustice, or else they are murdered in custody, disgraced, humiliated, or disappeared.
People vote political parties to power with the view of getting some justice, whereas, the first thing the Prime minister does is sleep with the devil himself.
Then there is no means to purge the gangrenous political class, as there are no local bodies that can produce genuine leaders.
Don’t even get me started on poor spending on quality education and health so that there will be no new opposition.
All the educated, civilized, conscientious, and people of integrity have already left the country to live the rest of their lives in peace away from this charade.
All that is left is a mafia of low-class, impoverished, disgraceful, and characterless people whose only aim is to get the next promotion, more power, and amass wealth to reach the top of national institutions.
People have lost confidence in the political class, the religious class, the business community and are now losing hope in the only functioning institution of Pakistan – the military.
Just because no one dares speak out that democracy and rule of law is the only way to ensure psychopathic leaders don’t stay on top forever.
Pakistan’s humiliation in the World because of Human Rights
What’s more embarrassing is that the world sees all this and will never respect Pakistani people that are being humiliated by their elite.
The changes in Pakistani society that should have come from within are forced upon the country by powers to be like the USA, China, and India.
The international pressure on Pakistan through FATF and monetary institutions is too much for a structurally weak country for Pakistan.
Pakistani elite’s days of renting out the country to the extent their privileged position in the society are over.
Enforced Disappearance in Pakistan is it’s humiliation.
Why did Pakistan get to this abysmal place?
Pakistani society has not yet recognized the importance of freedom of speech; rule of law, social contract and to accept the “other”.
What can be done solve this endemic Enforced Disappearance in Pakistan problem?
- Pass legislation to make the enforcer of disappearance, culpable, even it if it is a top government functionary.
- Enforce the Rule of Law.
- All state institutions to be run through their respective elected ministers – period.
- Hold local bodies’ elections and give them financial autonomy.
- Ratify Convention on Enforced Disappearance of the UN that makes the perpetrator liable to be charged.
- Include specific rules on banning enforced disappearance in military manuals.
Now, I will go over some Frequently Asked Questions on Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan and the World.
Statistics on Enforced Disappearances
Since 1980, when the UN Working Group on Involuntary Disappearances, was established, the group has reported 43500 cases unresolved in 2014.
Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan Statistics
Defense of Human Rights Pakistan estimates over 5000 enforced disappearances in Pakistan, with hardly anyone of them ever formally charged.
Enforced Disappearances Statistics in India
Ensaaf and Benetech Human Rights Data Analysis reports tens of thousands of enforced disappearances from 1984 to 1995 in India
Enforced Disappearances in Kashmir
State Human Rights Commission of Indian Kashmir reports mass grave of 2135 people discovered shows that these unmarked dead bodies might contain the dead bodies of enforced disappearances.
Enforced Disappearances in Baluchistan Pakistan
All I can say is that it’s a complete mess out there.
Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh
Bangladesh ruling Awami National Party has been accused of using government functionaries to conduct forced disappearances of up to 572 recorded people from the opposition.
Enforced Disappearance in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a typical case of a country that has been wracked by civil war funded by a neighboring country like India, and has an abysmal record of disappeared or missing persons, especially from the Tamil minority.
Enforced Disappearance elements
Forced or Involuntary Disappearances has three elements
- Deprivation of liberty against will
- Involvement of Government officials, at least by acquiescence
- Refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared.
When is the international day for victims of forced disappearance?
UN held the international day of the victims of enforced disappearance on 30 August 2020, here in Pakistan as well.
It is to be held the same day every year.
How to report Enforced Disappearance Complaint?
Information on the enforced or involuntary disappearance of a person may be submitted in written form to
“The working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances of the Commission of Human Rights
OHCHR-UNOG1211 Geneva 10
Fax 41 22 917 9006”
Only 27 of the 53 countries have ratified the UN Committee of Enforced Disappearances and are competent to accept direct requests from Individuals under article 31
For State to State Complaints
- UN Office of High Commission Human Rights use this Form
- International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a UN body that mostly deals with Inter-State Complaints on “Right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly”, but also handles individual complaints where the state has ratified Option Protocol 1 to ICCPR.
Missing Person Complaint within Pakistan
- To register enforced disappearance in Pakistan, use this Form
Which is the working Groups on Forced Disappearance?
UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance (WGEID) reports to the UN Human Rights Council every year, intending to help relatives of missing persons locate them.
WGEID has 700 cases pending from Pakistan.
How to stop Forced Disappearances in the World
The three big countries, the USA, India, and China need to form a mechanism to solve their political problems on the table and not resort to unilaterally destabilizing weak countries through dictators and proxies, to further their political aims.
The civil war in Iraq, as a consequence of the destabilizing influence of the USA, has lead made Iraq the hotbed of enforced disappearances.
Enforced Disappearances International Law
- The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (2010)
- United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced disappearances (1992)
- Inter-American Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons (1994)
- Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998)
International Human Rights Treaties bodies where Forced Disappearance can be challenged.
- UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (UN-WGEID)
- UN Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances
- European Court of Human Rights
- African Commission on Human and People’s Rights
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Which Countries Have the most forced Disappearances?
More than 100,000
8000 in Kashmir only
Is Enforced Disappearance a War Crime?
Yes, if it can be proved that “widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance” took place during the war (Article 5 of Convention of Enforced disappearance).
There will always be people in every society that will call out a hypocrite to their face because they are not looking for their aggrandizement. Killing them, or disappearing them will only destabilize the ecosystem and murderous psychopaths will gain power quicker – eventually destroying every system of checks and balance.
All those who think they are serving the country by illegally detaining dissidents through enforced disappearances in Pakistan, instead of giving them political power and freedom to express themselves, are signing the country’s death warrant.
Enforced Disappearance meaning in Urdu
اردو میں لاپتہ ہونے کا معنی ہے
پاکستان میں ناحق افراد کا لاپتہ ہونا کی ایک داغ دار تاریخ