Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Lanka rights group concerned over enforced disappearances in Pakistan

ANI | Updated: Jun 20, 2018 13:42 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 20 (ANI): South Asia Solidarity in Sri Lanka has shown concern over rising incidents of enforced disappearances, torture and killing of political activities in Pakistan.
A network of independent activists, which recognizes nature of the struggle against enforced disappearances, recently joined Pakistani activists and dissidents in demanding justice from the government of Pakistan.
A protest rally was organized in front of the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo.
Speaking during a protest, Omar Waraich, Deputy South Asia Director of Amnesty International, said, "We are here to express solidarity with the victims and families of those enforced disappeared in Pakistan".
He added, "Enforced disappearances has been a problem in Pakistan for a very long time and what we are worryingly seeing the last few years is intensification of this extreme crime. People are being disappeared from all parts of the country for expressing the peaceful human rights. We have seen disappearances from Balochistan, Sindh's Karachi, Punjab and other major cities".
South Asia Solidarity submitted a petition signed by International human rights activists to Pakistan High Commission in Colombo and demanded justice and accountability for those disappeared in Pakistan.
Omar Waraich said, "Enforced disappearance is a cruel crime involves denial of several rights, it denies the person the rights to legal representation. It denies the right to fair trial. It denies them protection against torture. We found there are thousands of cases in Pakistan of enforced disappearances".
"Pakistan is an elected member of United Nations Human Rights Council and therefore it has obligations to hold the highest human rights standards in the world. We have seen Pakistan, sadly, failed to meet these standards on a regular basis", added Waraich.
South Asia Solidarity said in a release that Pakistani abductees are sometimes released after weeks or even years, often reporting interrogation under conditions of neglect or torture by the state.
However, these remain a large number of unresolved cases, with Pakistani families of the disappeared desperately seeking answers and justice from the government of Pakistan.
Although a consolidated number of outstanding disappearances does not exist but, the Pakistan Commission of inquiry into Enforced Disappearances counts 1,640 unresolved cases out of 4,804 reported.
In recent times, a grassroots movement known as the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), has emerged to champion various human rights issues, including the alleged disappearances of over 32,000 people in Pashtun,-majority areas bordering Afghanistan - where Pakistani forces and the Taliban continue to clash.
Mass rallies organized by PTM have been suppressed in the media, while PTM organisers themselves have been subject to intimidation and abductions.
Enforced disappearances are also prevalent in the resource-rich province of Balochistan where Pakistani forces resort to brutal means to suppress ethnic Baloch separatist groups.
The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons claims over 18,000 cases of enforced disappearances in this region alone.
By holding a protest outside Pakistani High Commission, the South Asian Solidarity in Lanka calls on the government of Pakistan to provide answers to the families of the disappeared in Pakistan, sign and ratify the United Nations International Convention Against Enforced Disappearances and commit to putting an end to enforced disappearances in Pakistan. (ANI)