AHRC demands commission to probe April 9 incidents -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

AHRC demands commission to probe April 9 incidents

Expressing concern over the apathy of the regime, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a Hong Kong based international human rights body, has demanded that a high level commission be constituted to probe into the incidents of burning and killing of lawyers and other innocents people on April 9 in Karachi.

“It is the duty of the government to investigate heinous crimes of killings by powerful groups regardless of their political affiliation, not to indulge itself in political expediency. “That murder can take place so publicly and on such a horrific scale and still go unanswered for in Pakistan, is a sign of severe dysfunction within the country,” the Asian Human Rights Commission said in a statement issued here on Thursday.

The Asian Human Rights Commission termed the incidents horrifying in which the workers allegedly backed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were blamed. The commission stated that despite numerous promises to initiate an impartial inquiry, the government has done nothing while the killings were covered in detail by the media, with most accusations leveled at members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

The Asian Human Rights Commission pointed out that just one day before the incidents, the MQM’s leader Altaf Hussain had verbally abused Pakistan’s lawmakers and urged the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to thwart their support to the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

“In the following hours the offices, houses and even cars of office bearers of bar associations were burned and ransacked while it is worth noting that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement members were also widely suspected in an incident on May 12, 2007, that saw 40 people killed during a visit by the deposed chief justice to Karachi,” the statement said.

The commission said the new Sindh government had tried to shift the blame on the ISI, transferring its provincial head, Brigadier Huda. However it has not appointed a commission to probe the murders, nor produced Huda for trial. “Instead, the newly elected federal and Sindh provincial governments have chosen to bargain with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and offer them ministerial positions in their cabinets,” the Asian Human Rights Commission said and added that needless to say, this presents a new level of danger for lawyers, journalists and other liberal and democratic organisations in the country. “While every political group has the right to negotiate with another, crimes are crimes and should be dealt with according to the laws of the country,” the statement added.
Source: The News
Date:5/2/2008