LAHORE - Speakers at a seminar have demanded the government criminalize enforced disappearances, empower inquiry commission by giving it a status of judicial commission, ratify international conventions and implement recommendations of three member commission constituted in 2010.

HRCP and IPSS arranged the seminar on ‘human rights in the era of enforced disappearances’ at SAFMA Auditorium on Saturday. Human rights activists, representatives of political parties and families of missing persons attended the seminar.

Human rights activist I A Rehman said that conveying any message to the government was a futile exercise. He urged people to come out and tell public at large about the truth. He said that this movement should not be confined to any city but spread to whole of the country. He said that 1498 cases of enforced disappearances were pending with the inquiry commission. But, he said, the actual situation was worse. He said that it was a pity that even higher courts were helpless in recovering the missing persons.

Referring to disappearance of Raza Mehmood Khan on December 2, 2017, he said that he was unaware about crime of the young man. Apparently his sole crime was true representation of the youth, he said.

Salima Hashmi read a poem of Faiz Ahmed Faiz for Raza Khan and all victims of enforced disappearances.  Hussain Naqi spoke on the impact of enforced disappearances. Hina Jilani gave an overview of the laws and the UN treaties being violated.

Mehdi Hassan, Akhtar Rasheed and Imtiaz Alam also addressed the seminar.