September 19, 2015 - Sindhi Foundation Briefs UN Human Rights Council on Disappearances of Sindhi Nationalists in Pakistan
(Washington, DC): Sindhi Foundation briefed the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 17, 2015 on the cases of enforced involuntary disappearances of Sindhi nationalists and their killings by torture in the Sindh province of Pakistan allegedly by military and its intelligence agencies.
Briefing the 107th session of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances at the Palais Wilson of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at Geneva, journalist and human rights defender Hasan Mujtaba alleged that today’s Pakistan is repeating atrocities of the past committed in Argentina and Chile as far as disappearances of Sindhi nationalist activists and political dissidents are concerned. He termed Pakistan as the “land of disappearance.” He asked the United Nations, European Union and the rest of international community to take immediate notice of the enforced involuntary disappearances of young Sindhi political activists, many of whom are killed and their mutilated dead bodies are dumped. He alleged that Sindhi political dissidents and nationalist activists are enforcedly disappeared, being detained and tortured at unknown places by Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agencies under their “kill and dump policy.”
“Today while we are sitting here in the August Palais Des Nations, thousands of miles away back in Sindh, families and friends of Sindhi victims of enforced involuntary disappearances have hopes and are anxiously waiting that we would help bring their loved ones back home alive safely.” Hasan Mujtaba said in opening remarks of his briefing to the WGEID’s 107th session in Geneva held under the chair of Ariel Duitzky Chair- Rapporteur Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. “The delay in raising voice against enforced or involuntary disappearances of Sindhi nationalist activists at the hands of Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agencies would result in extrajudicial killings of victims as it happened in case of Raja Dahir Bhambharo,” he said. Raja Dahir Bhambharo was abducted and disappeared by Pakistan’s para military Rangers on June 4, 2015 and his mutilated dead body was recovered on July 4th, 2015.
Reflecting on the case of 40 year old Sindhi activist Raja Dahir Bhanbharo in chronological order waving images of his mutilated body along with images of his minor daughters and wife who staged a sit in demanding his release even on Eid day festival, Hasan Mujtaba stated in his briefing “we couldn't save his life but we can definitely bring the culprits behind his disappearance and subsequent death by torture to justice.”
“The Pakistani military and intelligence agencies are responsible for enforced involuntary disappearances, extrajudicial killings and dumping of mutilated dead bodies of Sindhi activists. Pakistani government, judiciary, media and the civil society are aware that these missing people are detained, tortured and killed by Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies,” he said.
While briefing the journalist Hasan Mujtaba cited several cases of disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Sindhi activists including those of Maqsood Qureshi, Sulman Wadhoo and others who were found burnt alive in their cars in years 2013-2014 and young activist Sarwech Pirzado who had two bullets in his head, quoting Pirzado’s parents he said. Tabling the recommendations in his briefing he asked the United Nations to exert pressure on the elected civilian government of Pakistan to immediately stop the enforced or involuntary disappearances of Sindhi political activist and to hold their perpetrators responsible and to prosecute them.
During the question-answer session the chairman of the Working Group, whose fact finding had been to Pakistan recently, told the delegation of Sindhi Foundation that immediate relatives of the victims of enforced involuntary disappearance should fill and submit a communication on victims of enforced or involuntary disappearance immediately and the WGEID of the UNHCHR could intervene in their cases and put pressure on the government.
Sufi Laghari, the executive director of the Washington DC based Sindhi Foundation was also with the delegation in the briefing to the WGEID. He thanked the Group and its leadership through whose efforts lives of some victims of enforced involuntary disappearance could have been saved in recent past.