The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) observed Pakistan's Independence Day as 'black day' on August 14 in many countries. The observance to the black day was linked to the unstoppable and ongoing atrocities against Mohajirs, MQM and oppressed ethnic entities like Sindhis, Balochs, Pashtuns, Seraikis, Hazarwals, Gilgitis and Baltistanis living in Pakistan. The black day was observed in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Germany and other overseas units and protest rallies were organised. A large number of men, women, children, MQM affiliates and sympathisers and members of the oppressed ethnic communities in these countries actively participated. MQM local and regional leaders led the rallies. Participants of the rallies held placards and carried black flags on vehicles with slogan 'Black Day' in protest against state atrocities against oppressed nations in Pakistan. At the same time, they were carrying MQM flag, portrait of founder leader Altaf Hussain. Large crowds in the shape of car rallies gathered outside Pakistani Consulate offices and showed deep concerns over gross human rights violations taking place in Pakistan by the Army and para military forces. In this regard, a car rally was also produced in London which started from the International Secretariat of the MQM and went round different parts of London. Black balloons were released outside the International Secretariat on the occasion. The special protest car rally reached the Pakistan High Commission in Central London from different parts of the country and passed in front of it. Along with the tricolour MQM's flags, there were British national flags and portraits of Quaid-e Tehreek Mr Altaf Hussain. The participants of the protest car rally chanted slogans in favour of Quaid-e Tehreek Mr Altaf Hussain and condemned the Pakistan's military establishment for unprecedented, unstoppable and ongoing atrocities against Mohajirs and other oppressed nations in Pakistan. The special protest car rally was also attended by MQM Acting Convener Tariq Jawaid, members Coordination Committee and MQM UK Organiser Sohail Khanzada and other office bearers. When the rally arrived back at the International Secretariat of the MQM, MQM UK workers dropped sky lanterns in large numbers into the air amid loud slogans that they continued to chant. Men, women, youngsters and children were also present along with their families on the occasion. MQM Founder and Leader, philanthropist, historian, politician and statesman Mr Altaf Hussain also addressed the participants of the protest rallies at the International Secretariat and in his address, he paid rich tribute to the protestors and congratulated them for celebrating the BLACK DAY in an unforgettable manner.
A Baloch political activist has told the United Nations that Balochistan is suffering a severe humanitarian crisis, having been in the throes of a ruthless genocidal conflict for the past two decades. While making an intervention during the 45th Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Qambar Malik Baloch said, "The Pakistani army's sponsored death squads are roaming with impunity. A large number of Baloch youth has been the victim of forcible disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Thousands of them have fled to different countries in recent years". A senior member of London-Based Baloch Human Rights Council, Qambar said, "The military establishment of Pakistan and its clandestine agencies are kidnapping, torturing, and murdering activists and human rights defenders to counter the Baloch people's demand to exercise their right to self-determination. The recent killing of a student Hayat Baloch in Turbat testifies to that. He was brutally murdered by the Frontier Corps while his parents were forced to watch his unfortunate fate." He added, considering the gravity of the situation, we request this council to put a resolution in the Council to send a fact-finding mission to Balochistan to investigate the gross violations of human rights and subsequently, make the state military officials accountable for their crimes against humanity in Balochistan."
Supporters of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Europe held protest against Pakistan. Pashtuns protested to condemn gross human rights violations in Pakistan. The protest was organised outside UNHRC headquarters in Geneva. Pashtuns were joined by Sindhis, Baloch and activists from PoK. Protesters jointly raised voice against atrocities by Pakistan Army and spy agencies. Exiled PoK leader, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmir said, "Democratic forces in Pakistan are victims of state run forces. They are committing enforced disappearances and killings of Pashtuns and others. The situation in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan is very grim, people are put behind the bars for more than 50 years." Human rights activist, Baseer Naveed said, "Sindhis have been struggling for the past many decades. To marginalise Sindhis, people from other parts of Pakistan are settling in Sindh. The trend of enforced disappearances started from Sindh. It has now extended to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa." Pashtuns have been holding massive protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Protests come as abduction and killing incidents are on the rise in the province.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 02:12Published
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Europe organised a protest in front of UNHRC headquarters in Geneva to condemn gross human rights violations in Pakistan. The Pashtuns were joined by Sindhis, Baloch and activists from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) who jointly raised a voice against atrocities committed by Pakistan Army and spy agencies, the ISI and Military Intelligence. Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmir, exiled PoK leader, said in his address, "The democratic forces in Pakistan are victims of state run forces, who are committing enforced disappearances, killings of the Pashtuns, Baloch, Sindhis and other persecuted people." "The situation in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan is very grim as people are put behind bars for more than 50 years", said Shaukat. Baseer Naveed, a Sindhi human rights activist, said, "Sindhis have been struggling for the past many decades. With an intention to marginalise Sindhis, people from other parts of Pakistan are being settled in Sindh." "Trend of enforced disappearances started from Sindh and now extended to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This is the most heinous crime as law does not allow enforcement agencies to keep a person for over 24 hours", said Naveed. Pashtuns are holding massive protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as incidents of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings are on the rise in the province.
Baloch, Sindhis and Pashtuns staged a protest on August 30 in Canada's Toronto to mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The protestors demanded United Nations (UN) and international communities to press Pakistan to end forced disappearances, enforced conversion to Islam and extrajudicial killings. The leaders and members of Baloch National Movement, Canada Pashtun Council, Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) and World Sindhi Congress gathered in downtown Toronto and chanted "Pakistan Army Terrorist, ISI Terrorist". They called Pakistan army an occupied Army of Pakistan, Balochistan and Sindh. The protesters urged Canadian Government to press Pakistan in terms of reinstating human rights for Baloch, Sindhis, Mohajirs and Pashtuns. The protesters met with "Free Hong Kong" protesters in the next block and together they raised slogans, "Down Down China Down" and "Pakistan China Partnership, Human Rights Abuses for Baloch, Sindhis and Pashtuns".
A rights activist from Pakistan, Anila Gulzar has requested the United Nations to intervene and protect minority rights in Pakistan as they have been facing persecution foe the past seven decades. While making an intervention during the 45th Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Gulzar said, "Minorities are suffering for the past 73 years in Pakistan. I would like the world to know that a lot of Christians have left Pakistan due to fear of being persecuted by Blasphemy law. They are languishing in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka."She said, "Every year 1000 minor Christian Hindu and Sikh girls are kidnapped and forcefully converted and married to their kidnappers". A 37 year old Christian man Asif Pervez refused to accept Islam and was arrested in 2013 under Blasphemy law has now sentenced to death. A 14 year old Hindu girl named Mehek Kumari was abducted on her way to school in Jacobabad and forcefully converted to Islam and married to her abductor. Gulzar added, "I request the United Nations Human Rights Council to intervene in this situation. Thousands of Pakistani minority refugees are languishing all over the world. At least they should be settled in Europe and Canada so that their nightmare can be over."
The symbol of communal harmony between different sects is still alive in South Kashmir's Mattan village. In the three localities of Seer Hamdan, Srigufwara, and Mattan village of Anantnag district, brotherhood among Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs is intact even now. Mattan is one of the famous villages of Anantnag that depicts the age old and rich cultural past of Kashmir in the shape of brotherhood among locals. Before the 90s, a large population of Pandits and Sikh communities were living with Muslims and the village was a unique example of brotherhood and a symbol of communal harmony for many. However, in the 90s, a number of Pandit families left the Valley and migrated to Jammu and other places of the country due to the insurgency.
Having composed and released 20 albums consisting of bhajans and songs, Sohil Baloch is now set to melt his listeners' heart with his latest bhajan composition dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hailing from Rajkot city of Gujarat, Sohil though belongs to a Muslim family has been brought up on bhajans, which today have become his passion. For his latest composition, he not just broke the religious barriers but even the territorial ones by including in it the tabla performance of the famous Pakistani musician, Wajid Ali Tafu. The melodious rendition of the duo is not just meant to evoke devotion among people but also spread the message of peace and harmony among different faiths. Inspired by his father and elder sister to take up music as his career, the 30 year old has also worked with famous Indian playback singer, Anuradha Pundwal. A music teacher in School, Sohil has also composed and sung a number of bhajans dedicated to various Hindu Gods like Ganesha, Swaminarayan and many more. Hardik Mehta in whose studio Sohil has composed his latest bhajan feels fortunate to be a part of it. Sohil by way of his music and singing is not just showcasing his respect to the beliefs of other community but is also becoming a medium to unite two faiths.
The Sindhi Baloch Forum held a protest against Pakistan government in front of UK Parliament in London. The protest was held on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August..
The Baloch Republican Party (BRP) held a protest demonstration in Hannover city of Germany against recent brutal killings of five abducted Bugti tribesmen by the Punjab Police in Rajanpur, some 400 kms..