The Amnesty International has demanded Pakistan to resolve hundreds of cases of enforced disappearances as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted on Monday the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan. Many innocent Shia Muslims have also been subjected to enforced disappearance.
The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has more than 700 pending cases from Pakistan, and Pakistan’s State Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances has received reports of hundreds more, from across the country.
“As an elected member of this Council, Pakistan must uphold the highest human rights standards – to not just acknowledge violations, but take concrete steps to end impunity for them,” said a statement issued by the London-based rights group.
The group welcomed Pakistan’s acceptance of recommendations to make enforced disappearance a criminal offence. However, it expressed annoyance over the country’s failure to accept several recommendations – including from states with their own traumatic history of disappearances – to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
“Amnesty International is pleased to note that Pakistan has accepted recommendations to protect journalists and freedom of expression, however, is concerned that the government did not accept recommendations to bring the perpetrators of such threats, attacks and abductions to justice,” the statement read.
Victims include bloggers, journalists, students, peace activists and other human rights defenders whose work promotes the same values as the UNHRC and was crucial to a free and just society.