A delegation of World Sindhi Congress (WSC) comprising of Dr Hidayat Bhutto, Ali Memon, and Gul Sanai and Dr Lakhu Luhana participated in the 30th Session of UN Human Rights Council which was held from Sep 14 to Oct 02 2015 in Geneva.
On Tuesday, 22nd September, Dr Hidayat Bhutto, presented statement on item 4, General Debate on human rights situation in Sindh. In his statement he said that Sindhi people are facing one of the worst onslaughts in their entire national history from Pakistani establishment agencies. He explained attrocities including disappearances and extrajudicial killing of Sindhi political workers, the state-sponsored rise in religious extremism, persecution of religious minorities, complete denial of rights and opportunities for social, economic, cultural and political development. He further said, Pakistani intelligence and security agencies are encouraging and providing hubs to settle Talbans in Sindh and establishment of religious seminaries, creating systematic discriminations, hostilities and persecution of indigenous Sindhi people. He requested the UNHRC to take notice and investigate the human rights abuses perpetrated against Sindhi people and to press upon the Pakistani government to end the violations.
WSC delegation met with officials of Special Procedures Branch, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and highlighted disappearances and extrajudicial killings, target killings, and enforced disappearance of Sindhi political workers including Raja Dahir Bhambhro. The delegation provided details of Raja Dahir case, efforts from family, proceedings of high court, amnesty international Public Statement, Asian Human Rights Council petitions, WSC demonstration and petition to the Prime Minister, United Kingdom. They urged the UN officials to investigate the enforced disappearance and killing of Raja Dahir, allegedly carried out by Pakistani agencies which amounts Pakistan’s obligation under international and domestic laws.
WSC delegation then met with Freedom of Religion and Belief Special Procedures Branch, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on issue of forced conversions, unlawful marriages, kidnapping of Sindhi Hindu girls, burning of Hindu religious places. WSC highlighted persecution of religious minorities and informed officials that on 24 August 2015, Hawa Meghwar was kidnapped, raped and killed in Kunri, Sindh. Police authorities due to pressure from influential and intelligence agencies refused to lodge the report against the culprits. Additionally, on 17 September 2015 a 16-years old girl Reshma Kolhi, was raped at village Doro Nalo by two men. Ms. Kolhi eventually committed suicide in Tharparkar, Sindh. In the first week of August 2015, Lashmi Meghwar, who was from Tando Ghulam Hyder, was kidnapped, and her dead body was found in Badin a week after. WSC delegation requested the UNHRC to take notice and investigate the human rights abuses perpetrated against Sindhi people and to press upon the Pakistani government to end the violations.
WSC delegation participated in side event titled ‘Remembering victims of terrorism’ on Tuesday 22nd September, 2015 organised by RADDHO, HRCF and Al Hakim Foundation. Dr Charles Graves, president of FICR presided the session. Dr Hidayat Bhutto, had an opportunity to share thoughts on the topic and over all situations of Sindhi victims with regards to it. He extended his full support to promote initiatives of UN in order to make the fight against terrorism effective in practice and develop international cooperation, expressed solidarity with the victims and their families and invite UN general assembly to proclaim 19th as the international day for the remembrance and tribute to the victims of terrorism.
On 24th September 2015, World Sindhi Congress (WSC) held a protest rally against the gross human rights violations which include extrajudicial killings, targeted killings, enforced disappearances of Sindhi activists, forced conversions and kidnappings of Sindhi Hindus, spread of religious extremism in Sindh, forced population movement in to Sindh and misappropriation of natural resources of Sindh.
The rally raised slogans against the extrajudicial killing of Sindhi and Baloch people, forced conversions and kidnappings of Sindhi Hindus, spread of religious institutions in Sindh, forced population movement into Sindh and misappropriation of natural resources of Sindh.
At the end of the rally, a delegation comprising of Dr Hidayat Bhutto, Mir Salim Sanai, Ali Memon, Gul Sanai, Dr Lakhu Luhana, along with Baloch friends submitted a petition to the Secretary General of the United Nations and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, requesting for their help to press upon the Pakistan government to investigate the extrajudicial killings, release the disappeared and stop human rights violations committed by Pakistan against Sindhi people. The petition also requested for to condition any international aid to Pakistan with its strict observance of human rights.
The World Sindhi Congress (WSC) is based in the UK, USA, Canada, and Sindh and is one of the most prominent human rights advocacy organizations for Sindh and Sindhis. The main objective of WSC is to create a better understanding within the international community about the persecuted status of Sindhis in Pakistan and about the Sindhi people’s struggle for human rights, including the right to self-determination. WSC is a registered company in the UK and the USA, and is organized to carry out non-profit activities. For more information, visit www.worldsindhicongress.org