Pashtun Human Rights Defender Idris Khattak still missing

In November 2019, New Pakistan had written about the disappearance of human rights activist and political worker Muhammad Idris Khattak. It is four months since Khattak “was forcibly disappeared on 13 November 2019 by four plainclothes men on the Swabi motorway interchange in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

For the last few months, both the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and international human rights watchdogs – Amnesty International and Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders- have been asking the government “take every possible measure to recover Mr Khattak safely, ensure that he has immediate access to medical attention and legal counsel, and take swift action against the perpetrators. Mr Khattak suffers from diabetes and requires daily medication.”

 As of end-February 2020, 2,128 cases of enforced disappearance are still pending with the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances. The HRCP, however, believes the “ number is far lower than the actual” and that “the government must take a firm stand against this abhorrent practice by signing and implementing the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.”

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