Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti, while addressing the issue of missing persons in Pakistan, stated that the assemblies in the country represent “legitimate voices” for separatists expressing their perspectives.

During an interview with DawnNewsTV program Doosra Rukh, Bugti delved into the complexities of missing persons cases, shedding light on the challenges faced in resolving them.

Bugti’s comments come against the backdrop of an ongoing missing persons case being heard by the Islamabad High Court.

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On November 29, the court issued a warning that a case might be filed against the caretaker prime minister and others if they did not facilitate the reunion of missing Baloch students with their families.

He also emphasized the delicate nature of the missing person issue, stating, “We have a commission on this matter, and it has resolved around 85 per cent of cases.”

The commission was established in 2011 to trace missing persons and fix responsibility on the individuals or organizations responsible for it.

In the interview aired on Friday, Minister Bugti pointed out the fine line between “enforced disappearances and self-disappearance”, highlighting that the commission had encountered cases with surprising details.

“There were cases wherein people left their homes after a domestic dispute, and it transpired weeks later that they had left home themselves.”

He also noted instances where individuals lost their lives in “encounters” with security forces.

Minister added, “Then there are cases in which suspects are absconders required by a court, and their families submit pleas claiming their family member as missing to avoid court [action].”

He remarked that such cases had been reported and documented.