Baloch body condemns killing of MQM leader

ANI | Updated: Jan 15, 2018 23:01 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Jan. 15 (ANI): The American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) has condemned the extrajudicial killings of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) London's deputy convener Dr Hasan Zafar Arif and drew attention to the recurring pattern of violence against activism for truth and justice in Pakistan.

"The fact that Pakistan's regime feels threatened by a 72-year-old intellectual is evidence of their paranoia and insecurity...a sign that they know Pakistan's sense of nationhood is withering away," said AFB President Ahmar Mustikhan.

"He (Arif) experienced extrajudicial kidnapping for a day, before being assassinated. As always, Pakistani authorities deny any involvement, and are advertising that there were no marks on his body. This is how Pakistan has come to be known as a mendocracy (rule by compulsive liars)," he added.

MQM leader Dr Arif was found dead in a car in Karachi's Ilyas Goth area on Sunday after he was abducted a day earlier.

Dr Arif, used to teach Philosophy at the University of Karachi.

The ADB said, in its statement, the present killing bears all the usual marks of an extrajudicial assassination by Pakistani state agencies.

Professor Arif had also been an ideologue in the Pakistan People's Party under former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who herself was assassinated in a bomb blast.

In October 2016, Arif had undergone a six-month political imprisonment. He was picked up by Pakistan Rangers right outside the Karachi Press Club just before he was to address the media. He was charged with attending an incendiary speech by exiled MQM leader Altaf Hussain. Prior to that, in 1984, he had served 2 years in prison on charges of "anti-dictatorship activism".

In a recent interview, Dr Arif spoke out against paramilitary operations in Pakistan's largest city, which he saw as having the makings of a "holocaust" in areas extending from Karachi to Mirpurkhas.

The murdered professor was an alumnus of the University of Reading and Harvard University.

The World Baloch Women Forum (WBWF) has also condemned the killing of Dr Arif and said, "It is very sad indeed, when Pakistani army crushed Baloch for 70 years, Pakistani civil society kept silent as if we were 'others' and they were having a share from our genocide in form of gas, jobs etc. Now this monster has started butchering its own people for asking their rights and exposing Pakistan."

"The Pakistani establishment, intelligence and security forces have long blurred the lines between the peaceful political Activists and rebels, though. Often treating all as enemies of the state, to justify killings," WBWF added in a statement.

Condemning the extrajudicial killing of Dr Arif, Balochistan National Congress (BNC) Washington D.C chapter, president Dr Baloch said the extrajudicial killing of a University professor without the due process of law shows how the Pakistani state actors are taking the law into their own hands by acting as the "Judge, Jury and Executioner", bypassing the country's own laws and constitution".

"We demand a full investigation into the murder of the professor and those who were responsible must be brought to justice", he added.

Dr Baloch also asked all the oppressed ethnic group of Pakistan to stand up against the injustices, lawlessness and such extrajudicial killings, disappearances, tortures and murders by both the state and non-state actors. (ANI)