NewDelhi. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), an international human rights organisation has received updated information that Pakistan Rangers and police have conducted joint operations against Sindhi political activists after the suicide bomb blast at the shrine of Shahbaz Qalander, Sehwan, wherein 88 persons were killed and 288 were injured. Although ISIS, the international terrorist organization conducted the blast, law enforcement agencies unleashed violence against secular elements of Sindh province. More than 100 activists were arrested in two days, and their whereabouts are unknown. Nine family members of Shafi Muhammad Burfat, the exiled leader of Jeay Sindh Mutehda Mahaz (JSMM), were also disappeared, including two minors.
According to report of THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE( PAKISTAN),
“The relatives of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz’s (JSMM) self-exiled leader Shafi Muhammad Burfat were detained, hours after a cracker explosion in Hyderabad on Sunday night.
…. Over a dozen other persons were reportedly picked up late at night by Rangers in parts of Jamshoro. A journalist working at the Sindh Express newspaper, Shafi Burfat’s brother-in-law, Ghulam Rasool Burfat, was among those detained.
…. Those arrested include Shafi Muhammad Burfat’s elder brother Habibullah Burfat and his sons Hosh Muhammad and Hameer Khan, brother Zaheer Burfat, father-in-law Muhammad Qasim Burfat and his sons Azam Burfat and Asif Burfat, brother-in-law Mukhtiar Burfat.”
Full text of ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION’s initiative is as follows-
Instead of curbing terrorism and destroying the sleeping cells of an international terrorist organisation that conducted a suicide blast at the shrine of famous Shahbaz Qalander earlier in February, killing 88 and injuring 288, the Pakistan Rangers and Police have conducted operations against ethnic Sindhi political activists. More than 100 persons from different nationalist groups including workers from Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) and among them are also minors, one teacher, a journalist, political activists and nine relatives of an exiled nationalist leader, Mr. Shafi Burfat, of JSMM were abducted, and their whereabouts are unknown.
Sindh’s nationalist groups held a protest strike on February 19 against the construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as well as the continuous undeclared operations against ethnic Sindhis, their abduction and disappearances, torture in illegal detention centres of security forces, and extrajudicial killings.
During the strike, the Pakistani state unleashed a brutal crackdown on the secular Sindhi nationalist activists. Rangers and other law enforcement agencies flag marched in the streets and towns to fail the province wide protest. Hundreds of houses were raided, women and children were beaten, and many activists and their relatives were abducted, detained and tortured. Shopkeepers were threatened with dire consequences if they denied cooperation with state institutions.
More than100 Sindhi political activists have been reported abducted by force
According to the World Sindhi Congress (WSC), more than100 Sindhi political activists belonging to all Sindhi nationalist parties have been reported abducted by force. Law enforcement agencies beat people and destroyed their property. The level of violence severely traumatized Sindhi people.
According to the Sindh Tribune and Awami Awaz, Senior editor of Sindh Express Ghulam Rasool Burfat, including nine others were picked up and disappeared, and their location is still unknown. Police and government officials are denying their arrest.
The Jeay Sindh Muteheda Mahaz (JSMM) says that security forces with the help of Pakistan Rangers and Sindh Polices have raided on the houses of Burfat Community at Sindh University Society, Jamshoro Sindh.
The nine missing persons are the relatives of JSMM chairman Shafi Muhammad Burfat, who is in exile after being declared as the Anti-state element.
The missing persons include journalist Ghulam Rasool Burfat, his younger brother Mukhtiar Ali Burfat, Habibullah Burfat, his two children Hameer Burfat and Hosh Muhammad Burfat, his Father in Law, Qasim Burfat and his two sons Asif Burfat and Azim Burfat, and Ali Burfat.
The JSMM claims that they all were arrested from their houses; police forcibly entered into their homes, searched their houses, damaged their households and beat up the women and children.
The Rangers on February 20 also arrested a Karachi based leader of another nationalist group, the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Mr. Hameed Sindhi and a student leader of JSSF, Mr. Yawar Maheser, from Karachi; their whereabouts are also unknown.
It is height of the disappearance that a 82 year old Ustad Muhammad Rahimoon, the senior most nationalist intellectual, is missing since November 23, 2016. He was arrested from his house where he was ailing. The Sindh government has still not initiated an inquiry in the matter.
The Sindh province is under the operation of Rangers since 2014 from the permission of federal government and military leadership. It was contained up to Karachi, the capital of the province, however, the Pakistan Rangers extended its operation throughout the province particularly in the interior of the province without the approval of the civilian government and its cabinet.
Disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the Sindh Province continues unabated; in many cases disappearances have occurred following arrest by the police and at times by plain clothed persons, presumably from intelligence agencies; thereafter being taken into custody, most often tortured and ultimately their bodies are found dumped on the streets.
In the Sindh Province, the security forces have made secular and nationalist forces and activists their main target, in order to keep them in illegal detention centres, torture them and thereafter extrajudicially execute them in an effort to eliminate any evidence.
The formation of the Apex Committee in Sindh Province, ushering increased presence of the Military and the Pakistan Rangers, has made the terms “half-fry” and “full-fry” common in the ranks of the police and other law enforcement agencies. The Apex Committee was formed to control serious crimes like terrorism, abduction, extortion, and target killings. And, the result has been a tremendous upsurge in extrajudicial killings.
The use of the term “full-fry” to indicate extrajudicial killings showcases how common and open this outrageous practice by law enforcement officials has become. Judges and murderers all rolled into one, extrajudicial killers in uniform, have been using the pseudonyms of ‘half-fry’ and ‘full-fry’ to indicate the condition of a suspect.
The unlawful practice of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings has increased drastically in Sindh Province. Sindh is now a close second to Balochistan, where people are arrested and killed in secret detention centres.
Please write letters to the following authorities calling on them to stop the illegal and unofficial operation against the secular forces of Sindh province. The authorities should immediately release the missing persons who are in the custody of law enforcement agencies, including the nine Burfat family members. The officers who conducted the illegal raids and tortured persons should be prosecuted.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Working Group on the Arbitrary Detention, calling for its intervention into this matter.