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In a first, Special UN Rapporteurs issue joint communique on enforced disappearance in Pakistan

ANI | Updated: May 28, 2021 21:20 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], May 28 (ANI): In its first-ever "Joint Communication" from the UN Special Rapporteurs, eight different UN human rights bodies have formally inquired about the enforced disappearances of people in Pakistan from Prime Minister Imran Khan's government, putting a seal on Pakistan's indictment on the issue.
After Pakistan failed to respond to their charges, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) published their indictment statement in the form of a Joint Communique.
This Joint Communication is the international recognition of the issue of enforced disappearances of people from minority communities by the UN human rights bodies. It also confirms that enforced disappearances are a denial of one but numerous fundamental human rights of the victim. Moreover, it is important to note that the term minority mentioned in the Communication is used in a national or ethnic minority.
"...we would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency's Government information we have received concerning what appears to be a pattern of steady increase in the number of enforced disappearances of persons belonging to minorities, especially Sindhi minorities, of political activists, journalists and human rights defenders, in the province of Sindh, Pakistan," the communication read.
"In relation with these practices, there appears to be an apparent pattern of impunity, resulting from the persistent lack of effective and prompt investigations and the failure to bring perpetrators to justice," it added.
The Joint Communication identifies the continuing practice of enforced disappearances of Sindhi people, lack of investigations for the enforced disappearances, and lack of criminalizing enforced disappearances in the legal system.
It also highlights the ineffectiveness of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, failure of the Government to take the adequate and prompt investigation and ineffectiveness of the judicial system to redress the victims.
Furthermore, the communication reiterates that these practices are in contravention of numerous conventions and articles of the UN and the UN Charter of Human Rights.
The Joint Communication also raised multiple queries from the Pakistan government. It must fulfill the Government's obligations under the UN charter and provide remedies to the victims of the enforced disappearance in Sindh and stop the practice.
World Sindhi Congress thanked the UN bodies for this Joint Communication.
"Thank you, UN, WGEID, and WSC Team, for following up the cases of the enforced disappearances of Sindhis activists by the Pakistani Government," Dr. Rubina Shaikh
Chairwoman, World Sindhi Congress said in a Facebook post.
"I want to pay my heartfelt tribute to the victims of enforced disappearances and their families for their sufferings and continued struggle. I hope that this endeavor from WSC may bring some ray of hope for them," she added. (ANI)