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Pakistan: Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances logs 197 new cases in 2024 so far

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As many as 197 missing persons cases reports have been submitted to the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (COIOED) in the first half of the year, reported Dawn.

According to a report released on Monday, the commission stated that the total number of cases received up till June 30 was 10,285 while 8,015 cases were disposed of with a total of 6,464 people traced so far and 1,551 cases disposed of.

The commission was set up in 2011 to trace the missing persons and fix responsibility on the individuals or organisations responsible, Dawn reported.

The report further showed that 226 cases were disposed of in the first six months of 2023.

It further added that 2,270 cases were left while 4,514 were returned home, 1,002 were present in internment centres, 671 were in prisons and 277 were found dead.

It said that 47 cases were received in June and 28 were disposed of with 13 of them unrelated to enforced disappearances, nine returned to their homes, three were confined in internment centres, two were confined in jails and one person’s dead body was found, according to Dawn.

Earlier on April 23, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the issue of missing persons could “not be solved overnight” but the government was committed to finding a solution by first achieving a consensus amongst all stakeholders.

On Monday, the sit-in protest camp led by Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) demanding the safe recovery of missing individuals completed its 5496th day outside the Quetta Press Club.

The organisation, led by figures like Mama Qadeer Baloch, has been actively engaged in peaceful protests and advocacy efforts to bring attention to the issue of enforced disappearances in the region.

However, since 2000, there has been a gradual rise in political and intellectual maturity among the Baloch as they continue their struggle.

Mama Qadeer Baloch denounced Pakistani forces for forcibly abducting Baloch youths, citing violations of international human rights laws.

He criticised Pakistan for disposing of abducted youths’ bodies, while praising the Baloch community’s disciplined approach in peacefully seeking their recovery.