LAHORE – It’s easier to criticize than to create. This statement perfectly suits our politicians who, time and again, slam official policies while in opposition but get with the flow when they hold the reins of the government themselves.

This becomes painfully obvious as the issue of missing persons has risen once again, following the mysterious disappearance of a university professor Salman Haider from Islamabad.

Back in 2012, the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chairman and now the PM, Nawaz Sharif, had highlighted the issue of missing persons and strongly criticized the Pakistan People’s Party government for not taking any action.

“How can someone be above the law and abduct the citizens of Pakistan whatever the reason there is?” Nawaz Sharif had stated during a visit to a missing persons’ camp in Islamabad.

Nawaz Sharif had also stressed that the government should amend the Constitution or should introduce new laws for the security of people.

“Why does a democratic government not make such powers accountable?” the PML-N leader had questioned.

Months before his election as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz also vowed to deal the powers behind such forced disappearances with an iron hand on reaching the corridors of power.

Also, the then Opposition leader in National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, now Interior Minister, while taking on the same issue of large-scale abductions, spoke out against the PPP government.

Flanked with his party leader Nawaz Sharif at the camp, Nisar had remarked: “I am shameful of being a citizen of a country where people are not safe. I am shameful of being a member of an Assembly where I cannot do anything for the families of missing persons.”

However, all this proved to be mere talk in coming years. Despite the fact that the PML-N won the 2013 general elections with a clear majority in the centre and the biggest province, Punjab, the Nawaz Sharif-led government miserably failed to recover any of the missing persons, let alone bringing new law or any amendment to the constitution.

After a lapse of nearly four years, the PML-N government is still clueless about hundreds of missing persons from Balochistan, Fata, and other parts of the country.

More recently, four persons Salman Haider, Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, and Ahmad Raz Naseer went missing from Islamabad and various cities of Punjab between January 4 and January 7.


On Tuesday, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan briefed the Senate about the disappearance the persons, adding that he was in contact with intelligence agencies. Even as the federal minister assured safe recovery of the missing persons, calling it the government’s priority, nothing is certain considering the past record of our politicians.