LONDON, (Press release NOVEMBER 10, 2011) World Sindhi Congress (WSC) participated and took floor in a meeting with Committee on Enforced Disappearances by Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at United Nations, held on 10th November, 2011 in Geneva. Dr. Rubina Greenwood, Vice Chairperson of WSC presented a statement on recently killed and disappeared Sindhi political activists.
In her statement she informed OHCHR that security forces and other security agencies have been actively engaged in hundreds of forced disappearances and targeted killings of political activists and ordinary peace loving people of Sindh and Blochistan. Media sources in Sindh have reported the official count of missing people who were picked up by the various security agencies is to be close to 175.
Dr. Greenwood reported that more than 45 Sindhi political activists belonging to various students’, labors’ and other political organizations have disappeared in recent years. Amongst them are Mr. Muzaffar Bhutto, Mr. Noor Muhammed Khaskheli, Mr Shahid Notayar, Lala Yasser, Shoukat Brohi, Faisal Wagan, Riaz Kakepoto, Shah Nawaz Bhutto, Jam Bhutto, Yasir Notiar, Ali Nawab Mahar, Zulfiqar Jamalim Hameed Shar are some of the prominent names. She also said that number of ordinary law abiding Sindhis who belong to Shah Bandir and Jati areas (border villages to India) have been illegally captured by Intelligence agencies too. Among those who are also abducted include Ali Bachal Themor, Ghulam Kadir Boryio, Taj Mohammed Themor and Mohammed Boryio to name a few.
Recent appeals made by Asian Human Rights Commission which was issued on 11th October 2011 with names of students who were taken by Pakistani Agencies from Sindh University including Afzal Pahnwar, Sanaullah Bhatti and Mukhtiar Pahnwar was presented as a supporting document to OHCHR by Dr. Greenwood.
“As recently as in last two weeks i.e. 6th November and 29th October 2011 five prominent political activists including Mohammed Brohi, Nadeem
Lashari, G M Abro, Noor Abro and Anwar Depar were arrested and their whereabouts are unknown since then,” said Dr. Greenwood in her statement.
Security agencies and Police regularly engages in the murder and killing of political activists. She said that from February to April 2011 a number of prominent political leaders and activists have been killed including Zulfiqar Kolachi, Aijaz Solangi, Sirai Qurban Khuhawr, Roplo Choliani and Nadir Bugti and Noorullah Tunio. She also reported the
murders of two active leaders of Pakistan Fisher folk Forum (PFF): Haji Abubakar and Abdul Ganai Mirbahar in May 2011.
She said that this callousness of security agencies completely ignores the commitments Pakistan made just last year when it signed the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in which Article One very clearly states, “All peoples have the right to the self-determination.”
Rubina appealed to the OHCHR Committee on Forced Disappearance to put pressure on government to set up an independent investigation of the recent killings and disappearances of political activists andordinary Sindhis in line with Pakistan’s commitments to the UN Treaties addressing freedom of speech and association.
In an email message, Dr Hidayat Bhutto, the Chairperson of the WSC said, “It is important for International Community to know about the atrocities towards progressive and secular human rights and democracy workers.”
WSC regularly attends UN events where it comments on the human rights situations in Sindh and other parts of Pakistan.