Is Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) behind the enforced disappearances and abductions in Pakistan? A Pakistani high court judge has reprimanded the country’s police and preeminent spy agency, the ISI, for forced abductions, blaming the security agency for violating the law.
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Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court openly called on the top officials of the Pakistan Army to keek a check on all-mighty Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to safeguard both its reputation and that of Pakistan.
He said the ISI was “involved in unethical practices including rendering aid in the commission of offences and receiving their share from crime money.”
“I am constrained to mention that local police with omnipotent agencies have disrupted the civic fibre of Pakistan,” Justice Siddiqui was commenting on a case involving a man who was supposedly kidnapped by security officials.
“From the mannerism, body language and appearance, he looks under tremendous anxiety, therefore his statement does not inspire confidence,” the judge said.
Pakistan’s security agencies have been repeatedly blamed for supervising enforced disappearances to suppress criticism. In recent years, a number of abductions, allegedly by the ISI, have taken place notoriously in major cities of Pakistan.
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The opposition legislators requested for a speedy investigation over the abduction of four social activists. The ISI and the local agencies have incessantly targeted activists and journalists critical of defence policies. Major media organization have criticized the agencies of censorship and threatening during the run-up to elections.
Additionally, critics assert that anti-terrorism operations have resulted in the detention of thousands of people by the security agencies, without their whereabouts being disclosed even to family members. Pakistan has one of the highest rates of enforced disappearances in the world. Pakistan’s Defense of Human Rights claims that the total number of cases of missing persons is 5,149 and 252 of them surfaced in 2014 alone.