Islamabad: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said no one would be allowed to investigate the missing persons' issue in the country, other than the government.
Malik said the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced Disappearances was not a Human Rights Commission, but a ''working group'', reports The News.
The UN team, now in Pakistan, was denied meetings with the President, Prime Minister, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) director general and the Frontier Corps (FC) inspector general.
The team had requested meetings with all these leaders and officers besides the defence secretary but no one except the defence minister is scheduled to meet the UN officials.
The team had asked for meetings with the ISI and FC chiefs other than the President and Prime Minister as Pakistan's Mission in Geneva was arranging their visit. In its correspondence with Islamabad, the Geneva Mission did, however, not encourage the visiting delegates'' interaction with the above-mentioned top guns.
The meetings with the ISI and FC chiefs could have been very crucial as the organisations working under them have earned notoriety for arbitrary detentions as the list of missing persons continues growing. Only Amina Masood Janjua, the chairperson of the Defence Council of Human Rights, on Monday presented details of over 700 missing persons to the UN Working Group.
The Baloch Voice for Human Rights has furnished another list exclusively of Baloch nationalists allegedly picked up by the security forces with FC standing atop.
The UN Working Group, however, succeeded in meeting Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court on earlier Tuesday and then flew to Lahore for meetings with the Punjab chief minister, chief justice of the Lahore High Court and Punjab home secretary. They have already met with the Punjab governor in Islamabad.
The visiting delegates will also hold meetings at this level during their visit to Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta before concluding their 10-day visit on September 20.
First Published: Friday, September 14, 2012, 16:29