HRCP demands probe into Karachi rally attack
LAHORE: The killing of Sindhi nationalist leader Muzaffar Bhutto, one of the prominent victims of forced disappearance in Sindh, and the brazen attack on a peaceful political rally in Karachi on Tuesday that claimed at least 16 lives, appeared to be the latest manifestations of violent suppression of political debate, and in the absence of effective measures, can plunge Sindh into Balochistan-style mayhem, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said on Wednesday.
In a meeting on Wednesday, HRCP said, “The body of Muzaffar Bhutto, secretary general of Jiye Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), who went missing in February 2011, was found near Hyderabad.
The family alleged involvement of state agencies and insisted that Muzaffar was neither a terrorist nor a criminal, but only a political activist. Several other activists, including JSMM members, remain untraced.
HRCP has been able to verify at least 41 cases of forced disappearance in interior Sindh since November 2010. Out of these, 26 people have been traced or released, but another 14 remain missing. Fifteen of these missing individuals were mainly political activists from Badin, of which nine have been released and six remain missing.”
The statement further states, “HRCP is alarmed at these Balochistan-style disappearances and now the dumping of bodies is expanding to Sindh.
One hopes that the authorities have learned their lesson by now and would desist from relying on the illegal practice of picking up citizens and holding them in violation of law in the country.
The courts should also take note of the disappearances and order recording statements of those who have come back from captivity with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
“The attack on a political rally and the resulting loss of lives marks a clear deterioration in the law and order situation in Karachi, where senseless violence and killings may have become the norm but a political rally had never been targeted in the manner it was on Tuesday evening.”
“The authorities must launch a transparent investigation into the attack to identify and bring to justice the killers. There is an urgent need to revive the people’s trust in the law enforcement agencies, and that cannot come about by mere rhetoric,” added the press statement.