ISLAMABAD, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- A two-member team of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances arrived in Islamabad on Sunday at the invitation of the Pakistani government for a 10-day visit.
The visit "would provide an opportunity to highlight the efforts being undertaken by the government to address this important issue and to further improve the relevant procedures," a foreign ministry statement said.
The UN team would visit all the provincial headquarters to meet political leaders, government officials, civil society organizations and human rights activists.
The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is a subsidiary mechanism of the Human Rights Council with a humanitarian mandate. It is neither a fact-finding nor an investigative mission. The primary mandate of the group is to promote communication between families of disappeared persons and the concerned governments to ascertain whereabouts of disappeared persons whose cases are referred to the working group.
In June this year, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay visited Pakistan, following the visit by UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul in May. Pillay had detailed discussions with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and interacted with human rights activists and civil society organizations during her visit.
The government of Pakistan has taken a number of steps to address the issue of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in the country, the foreign ministry said.
The visits are part of Pakistan's ongoing engagement and cooperation with the UN Human Rights Procedures and mechanisms. They demonstrate Pakistan's commitment, as a vibrant democracy with free media and robust civil society, to the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
The visit of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances will be followed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression later this year at the invitation of the Pakistani government, the ministry said.