Pakistan: Two members of the Jeay Sindh Quomi Mahaz Nationalist Party abducted in the latest report of forced disappearance
26 May 2006
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is alarmed by the continuing reports of forced disappearances of political activists with the latest incident involving two members from the Jeay Sindh Quomi Mahaz Nationalist Party. The persistent practice of such acts undermines the deepest values of commitment to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. Intervention must be afforded to investigate and bring to an end this grave crime against humanity.
The latest disappearance took place on 16 May 2006. Two activists of the Nationalist Party, Jeay Sindh Quomi Mahaz were arrested by a group of six to eight officers in civilian clothes at 7.30 pm near the Sarmad Hotel, Chandia Goth. Several witnesses were present and enquired about the arrest, the officials declared that they were from the Qaisabad Police and that Mr. Sikander (alias Aakash Mallah s/o Mohammad Siddiq r/o B3 Maari Garden Qasimabad) and Mr Manjhi Khan (s/o Dhani Bux r/o Chandia Goth near Happy Homes Qasimabad) were wanted for investigation relating to the protest and demonstration against the construction of the Kala Bagh Dam. Four people amongst the crowd followed the police vehicle and found that the two activists were being taken to the Hyderabad Sindh, a renowned military cantonment for torture and killings. Since the incident the two activists have not been seen and the Qasimabad Police has denied all knowledge of the arrest.
The AHRC has been closely monitoring the situation in Pakistan and this is by no means an isolated case (See further UA-132-2006; UG-003-2006; UA-49-2004 and FA-05-2003). In a statement issued by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on 23 May 2006, it was stated that intelligence agencies have been playing a part in the kidnapping of nationalist leaders and students from the Sindh and Blochistan provinces with more than 57 people still reported missing.
There have been several reported disappearances of politicians from the same nationalist party (See UA-132-2006). The General Secretary of Jeay Sind Qaumi Mahaz, Dr. Safdar Sarki has been missing since 24 February 2006 following an arrest by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Karachi. When the case reached the division bench of the Sindh High Court, the bench was informed that the federal government had neither arrested nor kept Dr. Safdar in custody. The Sindh Police and the Ministry of Defence likewise denied any involvement in detaining Dr. Safdar. However the petitioner counsel maintains that Dr. Safdar was initially picked up by the police and subsequently handed to military agencies. To date Dr Safdar's whereabouts still remain unknown and no further investigation has been made to look into the matter.
The Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz Party further claims that 15 of its activists including three office bearers have been missing for more than a year following similar arrests. Two Sindhi journalists, Mr. Abdul Sattar Heckrho and Mr. Muzzafar Bhutto, have been missing for periods of nine months and one year respectively and it is believed that it is unlikely they would still be alive.