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Page last updated at 01:32 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 02:32 UK

Action call over Pakistan missing

By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad

Relatives of missing persons demonstrate earlier this year
Hundreds of Pakistanis have disappeared since 2001

The human rights organisation, Amnesty International, has called on Pakistan's new government to provide information about hundreds of disappeared people.

Most are said to be held by the country's security agencies.

The call was made in a detailed report about the detainees released by Amnesty, which is one of several groups fighting for their release.

The government has denied any involvement, claiming those missing have been kidnapped by jihadist groups.

Headlines

The detailed report by Amnesty International calls on the Pakistani government to release the detainees, or to transfer them to official prisons.

Familes of 'the disappeared'
Many families have still received no news of their missing loved ones

The 50-page document gives details of some of the 563 detainees who Amnesty say are still being held by the government.

These include the cases of Masood Janjua and Imran Munir which have made headlines in Pakistani newspapers.

Dr Munir was finally discovered and released after the intervention of the country's supreme court.

He is currently in hospital because of injuries sustained from torture during his detention.

Mr Janjua, however, is still to be found after more than three years in detention.

His wife, Amina Janjua, has since started an organisation to fight for the rights of missing people.

Meanwhile, Amnesty says the Pakistani government continues to deny the undeniable.

They quote President Pervez Musharraf who has dismissed their claims as nonsense.

According to him, the "missing people" are under the control of militant organisations.

But when Pakistan's higher judiciary started to exercise its power and secure the release of a number of missing people, the judges behind the move were sacked by President Musharraf in late 2007.

He said they were interfering in executive matters.

Amnesty International has now called on Pakistan's new Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to act immediately to resolve all cases of enforced disappearance.




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