Human rights activists and scholars raised awareness surrounding the situation in Pakistan’s Sindh province during the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday.
At a side event titled “Human Rights Violations in Pakistan”, a panel of Sindhi activists including Fatima Gul, Muzafar Talpur, Reva Tharwani and Sindhu Rustamani highlighted the situation of the region with an aim to seek the world’s attention on the repression of Sindhi people.
Fatima Gul, Sindhi American Human Rights Activist said: “When we talk about human rights violations, the big issues are actually abductions of thousands of young girls who are then converted to Islam and enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings cases”.
The minority Hindus in Sindh province are facing persecution at the hands of Islamists as they use blasphemy as a tool to target the community.
Gul said: “It’s a very serious problem when you mention about blasphemy its crucial because in Sindh, we as Sindhis, even Muslims or Hindus, we go to school and we study Islamic studies. So, arresting Sindhi people for blasphemy is ridiculous and it’s a new thing because we are very much aware of how all religions are respected and we have been living together side by side with different belief systems. That is new, especially Nutan Lal, a school teacher, the case was never proven, but now he is sentenced for life.”
The activist also said that the economic situation, the education and the infrastructure, the Sindhis are facing so many problems and of course, Sindh has not been the focus of Pakistan. So, it will always be the last. So, I am very much concerned.”
Speaking to ANI, Muzafar Talpur, Director of Sindhi Foundation said: “If anyone speaks about the rights, he gets disappeared. The alarming thing is we have found a lot of Sindhi activists’ bullet-riddled bodies as well. So, it’s really the big issue right now.”
“Most of the young Sindhis are living in fear now. The whole society is living in fear. So, that’s the biggest problem right now,” said Talpur.
He added: “Human rights should be respected. Everything related to human rights is most important. And, I think in the state of Pakistan if human rights are respected, 95 per cent of the problem is going to be solved.”
Talpur believes that minorities in Sindh are weak and easy to target. “They don’t have a representation. Most of the time, it is the economic reason too as they are vulnerable and easy to target,” he said.