Enforced disappearances have increased in Sindh: WSC Chairperson

ANI | Updated: Mar 19, 2018 19:22 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar 19 (ANI): Enforced disappearances have greatly risen in Sindh, along with the forced conversion of Sindhi Hindu girls, said the chairperson of the World Sindhi Congress (WSC) Dr. Rubina Sheikh on Monday.

Dr. Sheikh claimed that while Pakistan was taking "meaningful steps" to create a just and safe society, it was not taking enough measures and completely failed in addressing the issues of enforced disappearances and forced conversion of the girls.

"Pakistan insists it is taking meaningful steps toward a just and safe society. However, the collapse of the criminal justice system, the culture of impunity, and the government's refusal and inability to act in accordance with international human rights laws and standards has left millions vulnerable and suffering, in particular in the province of Sindh. The government has failed to respond or implement plans on previous Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations," she said while addressing the 37th United Nations Human Rights Council here.

Dr. Sheikh said that such incidents were rising in Sindh province, despite the creation of a Commission of Inquiry by the Pakistan government, adding that the victims' statuses are not reported and hence, the perpetrators were not being brought to justice.

"This has left Hindu girls increasingly the targets of child marriage and forced conversion," she added.

The WSC chairperson claimed that Pakistan's recent development projects, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Thar Coal projects, failed' to consult with the local populations and has 'ignored' the will of the indigenous people in the country.

"Given the situation in Pakistan, we call upon the (UNHR) Council to more firmly hold Pakistan accountable to its human rights obligations," Dr. Sheikh further said.

She called on the Pakistan government to ratify the convention against enforced disappearance and implement the recommendations from the special rapporteur and working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances.

"We recommend the (Pakistan) government hold accountable all parties responsible for forced conversions, including religious institutions while ensuring protection for the victims and their families," Dr. Sheikh continued.

She underscored that Pakistan should consult with all the affected indigenous populations regarding various development projects in the country, adding that Islamabad should "strengthen its human rights institutions with the resources necessary for it to uphold its obligations." (ANI)