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Category — SINDH NATIONALISM

Many JSQM men held for raising anti-state slogans:

Report in Dawn, November 8th, 2017
NAWABSHAH: Several dozen Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) activists were rounded up after they took part in a demonstration outside the local press club on Tuesday to raise their voice against reported moves to issue CNICs to Bengalis, Burmese and others living in Sindh.

A team of the A-Section police led by SHO Sanaullah Panhwar and accompanied by DSP Mubin Parhyar swung into action as soon as the protesters started dispersing after taking part in the demonstration.

The detained activists included JSQM Shaheed Benazirabad district president Ali Raza Khaskheli, Sarfaraz Memon, Syed Nasir Shah, Babu Sindhi and Ali Anwar Chandio.

Most of them were later freed but according to the local JSQM chapter, 25 activists were lodged at the A-Section police station.

The DSP later told reporters that the action was taken after some of the JSQM activists spoke against the state and others joined them in raising anti-state slogans.

He said an FIR would be registered only against offenders after preliminary investigation.

Mr Khaskheli told reporters at the police lock-up that JSQM could not be stopped from continuing its struggle for the rights of Sindh.https://www.dawn.com/news/1369064/many-jsqm-men-held-for-raising-anti-state-slogans

November 8, 2017   No Comments

STP urges Sindh govt to hold fresh census

Report in Dawn, November 8th, 2017
LARKANA: Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) chairman Dr Qadir Magsi has termed the recent census results engineered and advised the Sindh government to seek conduct of the entire exercise afresh on its own and compare its results with the figures declared by the federal government.

Addressing a press conference at the local press club on Tuesday, he said the fresh exercise would enable the Sindh government to strongly plead its case with the Centre.

Casting serious doubts over the census results, he said it was not done correctly and substantiating his claim, he said that despite a massive migration from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to other provinces, its (KP’s) population figures appeared to be on the very high side.

He said Sindh’s conditions were deplorable where education had been severely affected, schools were running without buildings, people were getting highly contaminated drinking water, insanitation was widespread and Karachi, the city of lights, had turned into a metropolis of heaps of waste. He blamed Sindh government’s inattention for this situation.

He said Sindh’s Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro had advocated issuing computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to Bengalis and Biharis only with the idea that five million outsiders would vote for the PPP in the elections.

Similarly, the Sindh governor conveyed the matter to the federal government and Federal Minister Talal Chaudhry made statement for issuing CINCs to aliens. He said that under the obtaining conditions in the country when people were coming from Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh and other countries and settling here, they were easy target for what he called maulvis to ‘train’ them. He said the Sindh government had no planning to check outsiders who frequently came and settled here. It [government] should in the initial phase check the mushroom growth of new settlements.

Flanked by Gulzar Soomro, Dr Hameed Memon, Dr Ahmed Noonari and Nek Mohammed Hulio, Dr Magsi said the STP considered issuing CNICs to aliens as an anti-Sindh step. No one would dare take such step, he said and in the same breath added that if anyone decided to do it, the entire Sindh would be on the roads.

In reply to a question regarding upcoming general elections due in 2018, the STP chief said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was in a hurry to capture power. Perhaps Imran Khan had not shown his hand to any fortune teller as the line to become prime minister was missing from his hand, he said.

Dr Magsi condemned the incidents of enforced disappearances, saying that it would have bad repercussions. He alleged that in the tenure of Asif Zardari 50 persons had been kidnapped and later their tortured bodies were found. But now people were whisked away and after brainwashing, they were asked to hold press conferences and held the present government responsible for the disappearances, he said.

Quoting Dr Zulfikar Mirza’s statement, he said Asif Zardari was the owner of 150 offshore companies. He said that during Zardari’s time, corruption had touched new heights.

He demanded accountability of those allegedly involved in corruption; Sindh’s ministers and advisers should also be brought to book.

Referring to Sharjeel Memon’s appearance in Sindh Assembly and the kind of welcome he was accorded, he said: “We must see his [Sharjeel’s] past to assess his social status.”

He said accountability process should not be stretched to the extent that a new National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) would come and exonerate the guilty.https://www.dawn.com/news/1369063/stp-urges-sindh-govt-to-hold-fresh-census

November 8, 2017   No Comments

Top JSQM leaders of Thar quit party

report in Dawn, September 21, 2017
MITHI: Top leadership of the Tharparkar chapter of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) announced quitting nationalist politics at a press conference here on Wednesday.
Tharparkar JSQM president Umer Unnar, general secretary Sabir Junejo and vice president Kelash Kumar quit their party, saying they had now gotten fed up with nationalistic politics.
They claimed that many others in other towns of the district were ready to quit the party and enter into mainstream politics.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1358934/top-jsqm-leaders-of-thar-quit-party

September 21, 2017   No Comments

MQM-P’s Khawaja Izhar escapes assassination bid in Karachi

By Faraz Khan in The Express Tribune, September 2, 2017
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan on Saturday escaped an assassination attempt in which two people, including a policeman, were killed and many others injured.

According to Express News, the leader of the opposition in Sindh Assembly was going home after offering Eidul Azhar prayers when two suspected attackers ambushed his vehicle in Bufferzone area of the metropolis.

While Khawaja Izhar remained unharmed in the incident, an attacker was killed during the retaliatory fire by one of the guards of the MQM-P lawmaker.

The bodies and the injured have been shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital whereas law enforcers have recovered as many as 27 bullet casings of 9mm pistol, SSP Central Pir Muhammad Shah said. Shah said the attackers came in police uniforms so they were able to pass through various check points unhindered.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Sindh IG Allah Dino Khwaja said one of the attackers was killed during an exchange of fire with the police near Taimooria.

MQM leader Farooq Sattar condemned the shooting and criticised federal and provincial governments for not providing adequate security to opposition politicians despite threats from banned sectarian militant outfits.

“I strongly condemn this attack on Khawaja Izharul Hassan,” Farooq said. “My party colleagues and myself are facing threats from banned sectarian militant outfits and other organisations but federal and provincial governments have failed to provide us adequate security.”

Farooq Sattar said that three attackers were at the corner of the street of Izhar’s house and had covered their faces with helmets. He, alongwith Izhar and other party members, visited the home of the boy who was killed in the attack to pay condolences.

Nadeem Nusrat condemned involving MQM-London in an attack on Izhar without proper investigations.

Stressing that the Sindh government was aware of its duties, Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal expressed his dismay on blaming the government for insufficient security.

The home minister announced that the Sindh government will give Rs 10 million in compensation to the martyred police officer’s family. He added that the family of the deceased will continue to receive salary until the date of his retirement and assured them to induct two men from their household into the Sindh police. He further added that the government would bear all costs of the treatment of those injured.

Meanwhile, another party leader Faisal Sabzwari confirmed the assassination attempt on Khawaja Izhar, saying the suspects were wearing police uniforms. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1497241/mqm-ps-khawaja-izhar-escapes-assassination-bid-karachi/

September 4, 2017   No Comments

Breaking the silence: by Mushtaq Rajpar in the News, Aug 24, 2017

The month of August saw an increased number of abductions of political activists, and some well-known civil society activists and writers. Some of them seemed to have been ‘disappeared’ only for speaking about missing persons. For example, Punhal Sario and Inam Abbasi. Over 160 people are reportedly missing in Sindh, but Sindh’s political forces have not only remained silent but also rather unconcerned about these disappearances. Three people abducted from Mithi have been released, but two key people still remain missing.

The Sindh Progressive Committee, an alliance of Sindh’s progressive political parties, mainly the Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP) led by Amanullah Shah, the Awami Workers Party led by Yousuf Masti Khan, the Communist Party of Pakistan and the Jeay Sindh Mahaz led by Khaliq Junejo have broken the silence and come out on the streets in protest and demanding rule of law and justice for the abducted activists.

With the other parties in the province mum over the issue, the fear of being abducted is a reality these days. People do not know why and for what crime they are going ‘missing’. Some parties consider it risky to speak for the missing persons.

There is neither a terrorist movement nor an armed insurgency in Sindh. A small group led by a leader in exile in Germany has been making noise and inviting trouble not only for his workers but for the rest of the nationalist movement in Sindh, a movement that G M Syed started back in the 1970s based on non-violent means. Now this whole movement is caught in the path chosen by one small faction. Action against the exiled leader’s followers is understandable, but raids and abduction and harassment are not and are a sheer violation of human rights and the law of the land. Tactics like these only reinforce the widely-held view of ‘a state within a state’, something that only ends up alienating our own citizens.

The Sindhi discontent has roots in Pakistan’s unjust political history. G M Syed, the founder of the modern nationalist movement in Sindh, was also a key leader of the All India Muslim League. He was the man who presented the Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly much before the resolution was passed in Lahore. It is undeniable history now that he was among the founders of Pakistan; it was only in the later years of the Pakistan movement that he parted ways with the Muslim League over issuance of election tickets in Sindh.

Many perhaps do not realise his intellectual and literary role in the awakening of modern Sindh. Pakistan’s first 23 years under dictatorships, instable political governments, and later the imposition of One-Unit by Gen Ayub Khan, sowed the seeds for discontent not just in Sindh but in Bangladesh as well. In the 1950s and 1960s, G M Syed wrote a political history of Sindh, reinterpreted Shah Abdul Latif’s poetry and reflected on the ‘Sindhian spirit’, its core values and Sufi character. It is hard to imagine a single Sindhi writer, poet and intellectual who was not influenced by G M Syed in that era. Up until he launched his Jeay Sindh Tehreek, his politics was all about the politico-economic rights of Sindh. Although he himself came from a feudal family, his core followers were mainly students from the lower middle class.

Pakistan’s creation had promised autonomy to federating units, unlike Congress’ centrist politics, but dictator Ayub deprived Sindh even of a provincial status. Sindhis had struggled for a provincial status for decades when under British rule, calling for separation from Bombay presidency. This was granted to it in 1935. Imagine: had Sindh not been a province, how would it have passed a resolution in support of Pakistan. However, dictators threw Sindh back to the same status of dependency, deprived it of its identity. When Bangladesh was part of Pakistan, the resource distribution among provinces was on multiple criteria and not just on the basis of population, but soon after Bangladesh’s separation, financial resources were distributed under a new formula of population, which definitely favoured one province in country. Consequently, Sindh felt exploited.

G M Syed was inspired by Gandhi’s peaceful political movement and never encouraged his workers to take up arms. He lost the election in the 1970s. Although he was Z A Bhutto’s arch rival, when the PPP government introduced the Sindhi language bill in the Sindh Assembly he supported the policy. Syed was imprisoned for his most of life after the creation of Pakistan and his house arrests continued till his death. And for what? He had never even thrown a stone at someone all his life.

We need to understand these historic reasons behind the political struggle of his followers. In his life he had lost control over his party and different groups had emerged and continue to operate under divided platforms. Had G M Syed’s politics been a threat to Pakistan, Gen Ziaul Haq would not have released him from jail nor would the establishment-backed provincial government led by Jam Sadiq and the MQM have attended his birthday celebrations.

Dictatorships and a lack of political and democratic processes in the country have weakened the socio-political fabric of Pakistan. Had there been justice and prosperity, such movements would have weakened and evaporated. Bhutto’s politics integrated Sindhis into Pakistan. He developed their stakes in Pakistan and helped create a Sindhi middle class. All his work was reversed when Gen Zia took over, breeding another longer phase of political resentment in the shape of the MRD.

The recent abductions of workers will further radicalise the youth and alienate society at large. Such unconstitutional means of suppression must stop. If there are valid reasons for action against such people, then let the law of the land address these concerns.

It is also unfortunate to see the silence of the Sindh Assembly and mainstream political parties on the issue of forced disappearances in Sindh. Only smaller progressive parties are showing some courage of speaking up, but does anyone listens to their voices?https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/225632-Breaking-the-silence

August 24, 2017   No Comments

Scores of JSQM, JSM activists quit nationalist politics

Report in Dawn, August 23rd, 2017
BADIN: In what is being seen as an expression of sheer disappointment by activists against their respective leadership, scores of members of the mainstream Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) and its Arisar faction as well as the Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM) in this district on Tuesday announced their decision to part ways with their respective party/group.

Speaking at a press conference at the Badin Press Club, as many as 37 activists, including some senior district-level leaders, said they had decided to resign from the membership of their respective party/group and work for the solidarity of the country.

Syed Ali Haider Shah, the Badin district chief of the JSQM (led by Sannan Qureshi), was prominent among the activists present at the press conference. He said that he and the 36 other activists had got fed up with the way their leaders were handling party affairs.

“There is no scope for nationalist parties/groups and nationalist politics in Sindh under the given situation,” he said.
Some other JSQM and JSM activists were of the view that their respective leaderships had failed to protect and guide them on what to do in the prevailing conditions.

A couple of JSQM activists said the party could not hold the death anniversary of its leader, Bashir Khan Qureshi. The leadership remained underground off and on leaving its followers in the lurch, they added.

Since the launch of the recent crackdown on nationalist groups having separatist views, 87 activists have quit JSQM and JSM.

A close aide to the late G.M. Syed, Ustad Mohammad Rahimoon, who also served as the convener of the proscribed Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) was the first to publicly announce his decision to do away with nationalist politics after he was allegedly kept in detention for several months before being released a few weeks ago by law enforcers.

Rahimoon was allegedly taken away from his house in Kario Ghanwar town earlier this year. www.dawn.com/news/1353240/scores-of-jsqm-jsm-activists-quit-nationalist-politics

August 23, 2017   No Comments

Protests in Sindh towns against ‘enforced disappearance’ of activists

Report in Dawn, August 21st, 2017
HYDERABAD: Activists of Sindh Progressive Committee (SPC), an alliance of Communist Party of Pakistan, Awami Workers Party, Awami Jamhoori Party and Jeay Sindh Mahaz-Khalique, and members of civil society took out processions and held demonstrations in Sindh towns on Sunday in protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of peasant leader Punhal Sario and other social and political activists.

SPC activists took out a rally which marched to the Hyderabad Press Club where SPC convener and chairman of his own faction of JSM Abdul Khalique Junejo, AJP’s Abrar Kazi, CPP provincial secretary Comrade Iqbal and AWP Sindh president Bukhshal Thalhu, writer Jami Chandio and Prof Mushtaque Mirani delivered speeches.

The committee had given the call for province-wide protest on Sunday outside all press clubs of the province against ‘enforced disappearances’.

The leaders called for respect for basic human rights, freedom of expression, and production of all ‘missing persons’ in courts if they had committed any crime.

They slammed Pakistan Peoples Party government for its failure to address peoples’ grievances and said there was growing unrest over enforced disappearances.

Mr Junejo said that SPC would continue its struggle till all missing persons were produced in court and the inhuman practice was discontinued. It was a shame that such a stark violation of human rights was being perpetrated under a democratic government, he said.

MIRPURKHAS: Members of civil society and SPC activists held a demonstration outside the press club in protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of peasant leader Punhal Sario and other rights activists.

Kanji Rano Bheel advocate and other social activists lamented that many social workers and human rights activists had been whisked away, causing fear and unrest among people.

They said that ‘missing persons’ had not committed any crime they were just running campaign for human rights.

They demanded the higher authorities provide justice to common man by taking drastic measures against the forces involved in the inhuman practice.

UMERKOT: Activists of SPC took out a rally in Samaro town to register protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of political and social activists.

The committee leader Damro Mal, who led the protest, said that scores of social and political workers had been abducted and their families were running from pillar to post to get information about their whereabouts but to no avail.

He said that Mr Sario was a peasant leader who was abducted after he raised voice for ‘missing persons’. He was a patient of diabetes and heart and was the only male bread earner of his family, he said, adding if there was evidence for someone’s involvement in anti-state activities he must be produced in a court.

KHAIRPUR: The SPC activists took out a rally in protest against ‘enforced disappearance’ of political, social and nationalist activists.

Mir Munawar Talpur, Yasin Sindhi, Prof Ghulam Qadir Phulpoto and others who led the rally said that LEAs had overstepped legal boundaries by abducting citizens without charge and detaining them at unknown places.

They demanded that all missing persons be brought before courts.

LARKANA: Political and social activists under the banner of SPC demonstrated outside the Larkana Press Club against ‘enforced disappearances’.

Local leaders of the component parties of SPC termed the practice of picking up people unconstitutional and undemocratic and called for safeguarding their basic human rights.

They appealed to Supreme Court and the authorities concerned to play their role in safe recovery of all missing persons.

BADIN: SPC activists held a demonstration outside the Badin Press Club, terming ‘enforced disappearances’ a sinister campaign.

They expressed fear for the lives of the ‘missing persons’ and said they might be subjected to mental and physical torture during captivity.

They demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff and human rights organisations should help recover the ‘missing persons’ so that they could celebrate Eid with their loved ones.

Riaz Ahmed Chandio, chairman of his own faction of Jeay Sindh Mahaz, said at a press conference here at the press club that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) should release all peaceful activists who had been whisked away from different parts of the province.

He said the practice of ‘enforced disappearance’ of workers of nationalist parties and rights activists like Punhal Sario was creating a sense of deprivation among people of Sindh.

The ‘missing persons’ should be produced in courts of law so that at least their concerned relatives could meet their near and dear ones, he said.

Mr Chandio reiterated his demand that the LEAs should go after corrupt rulers of Sindh, including top leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party, who had destroyed all institutions, instead of launching the crackdown against ‘peaceful’ activists. www.dawn.com/news/1352846/protests-in-sindh-towns-against-enforced-disappearance-of-activists

August 21, 2017   No Comments

PPP leadership asked to help recover ‘missing’ workers

report in Dawn, August 16th, 2017
HYDERABAD: Chairman of his own faction of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz Dr Meer Alam Mari has written letters to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah drawing their attention towards cases of ‘enforced disappearances’ in Sindh and calling for their immediate recovery.

In his letter addressed to the PPP chairman, he has stated that his party is a Sindhi nationalist and secular political party, which follows ideology of G.M. Syed, believes in non-violence and practices peaceful ways and means of struggle.

He has claimed that law enforcement agencies have arrested his party activists, office bearers and supporters in Sindh.

He has attached a list of 19 such persons along with his letter. He said that there was no complaint or case pending against them as they were all peaceful political workers.

He said that JSQM-A believed that such operation was in violation of international human rights charter and of extrajudicial nature. www.dawn.com/news/1351723/ppp-leadership-asked-to-help-recover-missing-workers

Human rights body asks authorities for information on missing activists : report in The News, August 16, 2017
Karachi: The Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has requested the authorities to provide them with information on reported cases of enforced disappearances of rights activists across the province.

Signed by SHRC Chairperson Justice (retd) Majida Razvi, the written request has been forwarded to the home and law secretaries as well as the Rangers and police chiefs.

“The commission is extremely concerned about such reports [of rights activists’ enforced disappearances] surfacing in the media and the complaints being received from the families,” reads the letter.

“The commission has been receiving information through various channels that since last one week dozens of human rights activists have disappeared reportedly [at the hands of] the law enforcement agencies. The families of all the disappeared persons are still unaware of the whereabouts of their loved ones.”

The human rights body pointed out that police and other law enforcement agencies’ personnel reportedly stormed into the houses of activists without any arrest warrants, “which clearly depicts the highhandedness of the officials”.

Majida said the SHRC was a statutory body established under the Sindh Protection of Human Rights Act 2011 that empowered the commission to work as a watchdog for the protection of the fundamental human rights across the province.

Pakistan is a signatory to various international treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 that bounds the state to ensure fundamental freedom to the people within the parameters of its legal framework, she added.

“Moreover, Pakistan has been granted the GSP Plus status by the European Union over the condition of implementing its associated treaties regarding fundamental human rights.”

The commission clarified that it believed a person accused of misconduct or any illegal act must be produced before the relevant court of law and their whereabouts disclosed to their immediate relatives.

Taking into consideration the law of the land, it is the fundamental right of the accused to have access to fair trial, stated the letter. “This may be taken as a top priority matter.”

A number of political activists from various parts of the province have gone missing in recent months, according to rights activists and media reports.

One among them is Punhal Sario, a prominent civil society activist who was convener of the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh.

A large number of civil society representatives had recently marched from Regal Chowk to the Karachi Press Club to demand the immediate release of the allegedly detained activists, including Sario.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/223854-Human-rights-body-asks-authorities-for-information-on-missing-activists

 

August 16, 2017   No Comments

Nationalist leaders condemn enforced disappearances

report in The Express Tribune, Aug 8, 2017
HYDERABAD: Sindhi nationalist leaders have, in chorus, condemned the enforced disappearance of political and human rights workers, journalists and writers in Sindh.

“Instead of paying heed to the contentions of political workers, subjecting them to torture and harassment is a violation of human rights and democratic liberties,” said Sindh Taraqi Pasand Chairperson Dr Qadir Magi.

Their reaction came after the recent disappearance of human rights campaigner Punhal Sario and a local daily newspaper editor, Inam Abbassi, from Hyderabad and Karachi respectively. Magsi alleged that Sindhis are being subjected to such tortuous suppression because of their political opinions concerning the provincial autonomy and control of natural resources.

“We strongly condemn this act of enforced disappearance.” He went on to accuse the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led provincial government for failing to protect its subjects.

In his statement, Qaumi Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo said that activists and writers are subjected to this inhuman treatment because they exercise their internationally-acclaimed right of freedom of expression. “They are not terrorists, extortionists or militants. Their crime is only that they want a different political system, rights or control over the natural resources.”

He urged the courts, government, elected representatives, media and civil society to support their demand for the release of Sario, Abbassi and other peaceful activists. “The party [PPP] that claims to have won the mandate from Sindh shouldn’t limit its efforts for release of these people to lip service. It should approach all forums for safe recovery of these men,” Palijo said.

“The people of Sindh are being whisked away as if Sindh isn’t a part of Pakistan, but a colony,” said Awami Jamhoori Party’s leaders Inamullah Shaikh and Abrar Qazi while calling for the immediate release of all the missing men.

They demanded that the federal and Sindh governments ask the intelligence agencies to explain why these people are kept at secret places and not produced in the court of law for their alleged crimes.

Sindh Human Rights Defenders (SHRD) and civil society activists who protested in Hyderabad on Sunday for Sario’s release, demanded that Pakistan should immediately ratify the United Nation’s convention on enforced disappearances.

SHRD’s advocate, Ali Palh, said all forums including the court, international human rights organisations and other stakeholders will be approached for the recovery of Sario.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1476101/nationalist-leaders-condemn-enforced-disappearances/

August 8, 2017   No Comments

Missing in Sindh: edit in Dawn, August 8th, 2017

Missing in Sindh: edit in Dawn, August 8th, 2017
AN all-too-familiar and sinister pattern is beginning to repeat itself in Sindh. The past few weeks have seen increasing agitation against enforced disappearances of political activists in the province. On Thursday, Punhal Sario, the leader of the recently formed Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh, was also picked up from Hyderabad by — according to an eyewitness — around a dozen men in police commando uniforms. Then on Saturday, some family members of the self-exiled separatist leader of the banned Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz, Shafi Burfat, were whisked away from their residence. A number of demonstrations by civil society groups were taken out on Sunday from various cities in the province, such as Sukkur, Jacobabad, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Umerkot and Mithi to protest the rising incidence of forced disappearances, among them those of rights activists, journalists, writers etc, allegedly at the hands of intelligence personnel.

Even a single case of enforced disappearance is one too many, but when those protesting the abductions, and the family members of the missing, are themselves disappeared, it is an even more ominous development. It speaks of an increasingly authoritarian state accountable to no one but itself and willing to go to any lengths to crush all dissent. Balochistan has long been a theatre for abductions by state-affiliated elements. While the security situation in the province makes verification of such cases extremely difficult, it can be said with some certainty that enforced disappearance has been used as a tool of state repression to counter nationalist sentiment in the area. More recently, the war against terrorism has provided a pretext for carrying out enforced disappearances in the rest of the country as well, with the highest incidence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is a measure of the impunity with which the state operates that it continues on this course despite a Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances having been set up by the government on the orders of the Supreme Court. The result, far from containing unrest, has only created bitterness among those who have been affected and is a boon to separatist propaganda. Inexplicably enough, there exists legislation — some recently enacted — that enables law enforcement to arrest, investigate and prosecute those suspected of being engaged in seditious acts. Why then do such self-destructive tactics remain in practice? Is the state blinded by its own power? https://www.dawn.com/news/1350207/missing-in-sindh

 

August 8, 2017   No Comments