ISLAMABAD   -   In a major development, the federal government on Monday constituted a seven-member committee comprising members of the federal cabinet to deliberate a policy related to enforced disappearances.

The federal cabinet has approved the formation of a committee that will be headed by Minister for Law & Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior.

The decision comes after a push from Islamabad High Court (IHC) to resolve the long-lasting issue of missing persons instructing the heads of government to explain how disappearance became the policy of the state.

The committee will comprise Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan, Minister for Power Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri, Minister for Communications Asad Mahmood, Minister for Defence Production Muhammad Israr Tareen, Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Ali Subzwari, and Minister for Science and Technology Agha Hassan Baloch.

The report as well as recommendations of the committee will be submitted to the federal cabinet for further deliberations. The interior ministry shall provide secretarial support to the committee, according to the notification.

The notification added that the committee is allowed to co-opt eminent jurists, representatives of human rights organizations and any other member as it deems appropriate.

On Sunday, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah in a detailed order had directed former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and all successive chief executives of the country including the incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to explain the reason for following an “undeclared tacit approval of the policy regarding enforced disappearances and thus putting national security at risk by allowing the involvement of law enforcement agencies.”

He passed the orders in a case related to the enforced disappearance of journalist Mudassar Mahmood Naro and five other people.