Pakistani Mohajir Plight highlighted in United Nations Human Rights Council
During the ongoing 29th UNHRC Session, the European Mojahir Network organized an event on 19th June 2015 focussing on the plight of Mojahirs (meaning refugees), who had been separated after the 1947 partition between India and Pakistan. Speakers during the event were well-known experts of the area including Ryszard Czarnecki, Vice President European Parliament, Mohammed Khan (Executive Director, European Mohajir Network) and Asif Mohammed, Human Rights Activist from Karachi.
The Mohajirs, being ethnically distinct from the Punjab minority, live in parts of Sindh, Pakistani part of Punjab including the Pathans settled in the North West Frontier Province. They continue to face persecution by the Pakistani Government and therefore, live shattered lives in the land they accepted after partition.
The aim of this event was to draw attention of the world towards the issue of human rights of the Mojahirs and ignorance of the Pakistani Government. Amongst several aspects, panelists also spoke on (i) the Mojahirs comprising Shia and Sunni Muslims, their "outsider / foreigner" status as claimed by Pakistan, (ii) being victims of planned genocide attacks in 1965, (iii) questioned Pakistan's double-standards on civil rights to certain sects in the society, (iv) ethnic riots in 1965, (v) the Pakistani census claim that 7.2 million Muslims migrated from India to Pakistan and the targeted killings.
Amongst the many other facts the world cannot forget are that (1) In just the last few months many hundreds of lives have been lost on the streets of Karachi as targeted killing increased; (2) 74 kidnappings for ransom have been reported between January and June 2013 itself; (3) the riots of 1985 and 2011 claimed thousands of lives to which the Pakistani government did not pay a heed. As the Muttihad Qaumi Movement (MQM) called for equal rights and identity in the country in 1985, riots broke out and in 2011 over 900 were killed in Karachi itself due to the ethnic and political tensions; (4) the riots of 1965, that killed hundreds of innocent people calling for equal status in Pakistani Society; (5) the loss of over 1.3 million lives in targeted killing of the Mojahirs. These are just some of the facts that have deprived the Mojahirs of their very right of existence, what to talk about basic needs like food, education, and health.
While these are some of the important issues that the international community needs to contemplate on and condemn the Pakistani Government for its stubbornness for deliberately ostracizing the Mojahirs, it must also adopt a pro-active role. It must also seek answer from the Pakistani Government and hold it accountable and prosecute those found guilty in the International Court of Justice.
The UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council), being the nodal agency that can effectively project the issue of Mojahirs in Pakistan amongst the nations of the world, cannot turn a blind eye and keep Pakistan as a member nation simultaneously. It is high time that the plight of Mojahirs is condemned as also the Pakistani Government and remedial measures be urgently taken by the United Nations, allowing the Mojahirs basic right to live, what to talk of human rights. The European Mojahirs Network earnestly requests the UNHRC to take serious view of the problems being faced by the Mojahirs .
Mr. Altaf Khan
European Mohajir Network firstname.lastname@example.org via smtp5.ymlpsv.net
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