The Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights was informed that Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2021, relating to enforced disappearances, which mysteriously ‘disappeared’ during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, is still ‘missing’.
Earlier in January, former human rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari had said that the bill, which is aimed at making amendments to the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure, had gone missing after it was sent to the Senate Secretariat, having been passed by the National Assembly.
During the meeting of the standing committee today, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Mushahid Hussain asked: “Where is the missing persons bill? It should be revealed that who made the bill disappear.”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Walid Iqbal, who is the chairperson of the committee, reiterated the former human rights minister’s statement and said that the bill had disappeared when it reached the Senate Secretariat.
PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui said: “So this means the missing persons bill has [itself] gone missing.”
Meanwhile, the human rights secretary told the standing committee that the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs have been asked to take up the issue with the secretariat.
“Both the federal ministries have been asked to trace the bill on missing persons,” the secretary said.