Representative image
Representative image

Killing of Pakistani dissidents dangerous trend, UNHRC needs to wake up, says European think tank

ANI | Updated: Dec 26, 2020 04:37 IST

Amsterdam [Netherlands], December 26 (ANI): The killing of Pakistani dissidents abroad is a dangerous trend that needs to be stopped and multilateral agencies such as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also need to wake up to the assaults and live up to the mandates given to them, according to a European think tank.
While calling out the human rights bodies, European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) in a commentary said that multilateral agencies such as the UNHRC and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) need to wake up to these assaults and live up to the mandates given to them.
"The killing of Pakistani dissidents abroad is a dangerous trend that urgently needs to be arrested. If left unimpeded, the trend could sneakily metamorphose into the norm rather than the exception, with the exception being horribly wrong and unwanted to begin with," EFSAS said.
Further slamming the international bodies, the European think tank said that the UNHRC has a duty to dig deep into the death of Karima Baloch in Canada as she was a meaningful contributor to the dialogue within the UNHRC. "If human rights activists continue to be bumped off as Karima was, there may be no one left to tell the UNHRC the important narrative of the Pakistani State's excesses," it added.
Highlighting the previous cases where dissent was silenced, EFSAS reminded that Karima is not the first Pakistani dissident sheltering abroad to die in highly unusual and unexplained circumstances. "Sajid Hussain, a Pakistani activist and journalist who often wrote on human rights violations in Balochistan and was living in self-imposed exile in Sweden, went missing on 2 March this year, and his body was found almost two months later in a river near the Swedish town of Uppsala."

Similar to Karima's case, Hussain had fled Pakistan in 2017 and had sought political asylum in Sweden after he had been subjected to death threats. Last Monday, Karima Baloch's dead body was found in Ontario Lake Toronto harbour front after she went missing on Sunday.
Amnesty International has called for a thorough investigation into her suspicious death. She was strong-spirited, and her determination was to make the world aware about Baloch human rights abuses carried out by the Pakistan army.
She moved to Canada to save her life but death threats chased her all along and finally, she met a mysterious death fate what her family and friends believe is a heinous act of murder. Baloch has publicly stated that she was critical of Pakistan's intelligence agency which is notorious for abducting human rights activists inside Pakistan.
Condemning the killing of the Baloch leader in Canada, Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch on Friday emphasised the need for a thorough investigation into the death of the activist.
"A thorough investigation is needed as Karima Baloch becomes the second Pakistani dissident from Balochistan living in exile to be found dead this year. Her body is discovered in Toronto. Pakistani authorities had followed and threatened her in Balochistan," Kenneth Roth tweeted. (ANI)