U.N. Presses Pakistan on Disappearances – NYTimes.com

A good example of how “moral authority” sometimes doesn’t pay the bills–or get you a meeting to answer questions, even when the issue at hand are serious human rights violations:

A two-person delegation, led by a French law professor, Olivier de Frouville, spent 10 days meeting with government officials and about 100 people who said their relatives had been illegally abducted and, in some cases, tortured and killed.

But in a sign of the delicacy of the subject, the leadership of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency and the paramilitary Frontier Corps, which have been blamed for many of the disappearances, refused to meet the United Nations team.

via U.N. Presses Pakistan on Disappearances – NYTimes.com.


2 thoughts on “U.N. Presses Pakistan on Disappearances – NYTimes.com”

  1. These alleged disappearances in Pakistan sound eerily similar to Latin American in the 1970s. Mass disappearances, mysterious torture, and massacre controlled by the government were so successfully covered that most questions still remain unanswered. Las abuelas de Plaza de Mayo still march today wanting to know where there children are.

    In any similar regime where the government conspires (or is accused of conspiring) against citizens, the question is raised as to who should intervene. In Latin America, dictatorships like that of Pinochet continued for many years until outside forces attempted to intervene. In the situation of Pinochet, Pope John Paul II played an important role in calling for a Chilean return to democracy.

    The U.N. has little force while intervening but calling attention and questioning Pakistan is of vital importance. Hopefully questions can be answered as facts and proofs emerge. While facts will be hard to come by seeing as there is no government method available to track missing persons and Pakistan is hesitant to cooperate, this process attempting to expose Pakistan can transform the nation from a closed system into a transparent state.


  2. UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said: “according to the 1992 Declaration for the Protection of All Persons Against Enforced Disappearances, ‘no circumstances whatsoever, whether a threat of war, a state of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked to justify enforced disappearances.’” (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42942&Cr=pakistan&Cr1=#.UGHtPY1lS1w) This group of the UN was established in 1980 to assist families in finding disappeared relatives. Two of the five member of this Working Group, were visiting Pakistan in order to have meeting with the State authorities. In their trip they gathered information that they will present to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.

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