Demand for recovery of 'missing' journalist Mudassar Naro intensifies after wife's death

Sadaf, the wife of journalist Mudassar Naro, who allegedly went missing from Pakistan's Kagan Valley two and a half years ago, died of a heart attack on Saturday, prompting calls for Mudassar Naro's immediate recovery.

Sadaf Chughtai was at the forefront of her husband's recovery campaign, but human rights groups, social activists and journalists are mourning her sudden death.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has demanded the government to ensure immediate recovery of Mudassar Naro so that he can take care of his young son after the death of his wife.

A statement issued by the commission also called for an inquiry into Sadaf's death.

The statement said Sadaf was also scheduled to attend a May 20 hearing of the UN Commissioner for Enforced Disappearances, so the circumstances under which he died should be investigated.

According to Mudassar's family, Mudassar's wife was suffering from severe depression due to the disappearance of her husband.

Mudassar Naro, a journalist, writer and critic from Lahore, went missing in August 2018 and has not been reported since.

Apart from journalism, Mudassar Naro was also fond of poetry and literature, but he was also considered a critic of the establishment in Pakistan.

According to reports, Mudassar Naro had gone for a walk with his wife and son where he went out of the hotel and then went missing.

After Mudassar's disappearance, it has been feared that he may have drowned in the river. However, after several days of searching, nothing was found.

Mudassar's wife later lodged a report of his disappearance and the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also took notice of the matter.

His wife Sadaf Chughtai and his friends later campaigned for his recovery and protested on various occasions.

Following the death of Mudassar Naro's wife, there are calls on social media for Mudassar Naro's recovery, while sympathy is also being expressed for his three-year-old son.

Social activist and lawyer Iman Zainab Mazari tweeted that Mudassar's father had approached the Islamabad High Court in February this year for his recovery.

According to him, the Islamabad High Court sent a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Defense to file a reply within 10 days, but no one filed a reply.

According to Iman Mazari, during the May 4 hearing, the Ministry of Defense filed a reply stating that Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence had stated that the man was not in their custody.

Social activist and journalist Rabia Mahmood told VOA that Sadaf Chughtai and Mudassar's family were under pressure not to raise Mudassar's case before a UN commission.

According to him, after Mudassar's disappearance, when Sadaf raised the issue, he too was initially harassed.

Leading singer Shehzad Rai tweeted that Mudassar's youngest son is now alone in this world and waiting for his father.

Social activist Nada Kirmani tweeted that Sadaf was a brave woman who had been campaigning for the recovery of her missing husband for two years. Mudassar and his family should get justice.

The Pakistani government has been indifferent to most cases of enforced disappearances.

Recently, Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shirin Mazari, said that the Cabinet Committee on Law had passed a law criminalizing enforced disappearances, which would address complaints of human rights violations.



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