Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday rejected explanation of the Rangers for their absence second time in a row from appearing before it on the ground “due to the prevailing law and order situation of the Metropolitan city.”
Rangers were directed to appear before it in the next meeting as the committee was informed that a privilege motion had already been moved against the law enforcing agency for misleading the Parliament by quoting the report of a non-existing functional international Human Rights body.
The meeting of the committee was held here in the Parliament House under the chair of Senator Nasreen Jalil which took a number of important decisions.
The decisions taken pertained to killing and dumping of bodies in Balochistan, the DNA testing of dumped bodies, adoption of draft legislation to rein in state agencies, the authenticity of the so-called South Asia Human Rights Commission whose report the Rangers had relied upon.
It also decided to hold an exclusive meeting in Karachi on the human rights violations in the provincial metropolis.
The debate was triggered when the committee was informed that during the last two years 52 bodies were found dumped in ‘A’ areas of Balochistan but no investigations were made as no one had come forward to lodge a report with the police.
The fact that more than 50 people were killed and their mutilated bodies dumped in the province during the last two years together with the stark admission that no one lodged report with the police is stinging indictment of the state institutions, a vote of no confidence in the state machinery and system of justice which must ring alarm bells in the corridors of powers, said PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar warning against the consequences of state apathy towards the plight of the people of Balochistan.
He said the report about dumping of mutilated bodies was highly alarming as the figures pertained only to ‘A’ areas where police are deployed. “God alone knows how many bodies of unfortunate victims were found dumped in the ‘B’ areas of Balochistan,” he said.
To a question whether DNA tests of the dumped bodies were carried out, the committee was informed that since no complainant came forward there could be no DNA matching also and no DNA tests had been carried out.
When asked whether it was not mandatory to carry out DNA tests regardless of whether matching was done or not, the committee was informed that state of the art DNA test facilities were not available in the province.
However, the DIG police (Balochistan) admitted that DNA tests can be carried out in Punjab and Karachi but had not been carried out.
On the advice of the Chairman National Commission of Human Rights Justice Chowhan, the committee decided to call for copies of the FIRs lodged by the state in the case of those whose bodies were found dumped.
It also called for a report on whether there was a nexus between the persons reported missing and the dumped bodies in the province.
The committee also noted that the queries addressed by the NCHR to state agencies had not been replied and called upon all state agencies to give replies to the queries as it was mandatory under the law regulating the NCHR. It asked the NCHR to keep the committee informed about the progress in this regard.
Senator Farhatullah Babar’s proposal to amend the NCHR law to ensure its financial autonomy was also endorsed by the committee.
It decided that in case the Ministry failed to address the issue of financial autonomy of the Commission the committee will move a Bill to amend the law.
The committee was unanimous in expressing a grave concern over the continued absence of Rangers from the proceedings and demanded their presence at the next meeting.
There is no justification whatsoever for the Rangers absence and it was bringing bad name to the institution, said Senator Mohsin Leghari.
The submission of report of a bogus organisation to defend the human rights record of a law enforcing agency had only undermined its own credibility, the members said, and called for action against those responsible. -Business Recorder