The government should end its silence on the abductions and killing of social activists, said Dr Bilquis from HANDS, during a protest organised on Friday outside Karachi Press Club on Friday.
Four volunteers of the organisation, Amjad Ali, Rafiq Ahmed, Khurram Abbass and Humayun, were abducted by unidentified men in Maripur on Thursday. The volunteers, who were accompanied by two female doctors, were offering medical aid to fishermen in the locality.
A number of representatives from the civil society attended the protest which lasted for over an hour. They condemned the rise in incidents of terrorism which had made it difficult for activists to perform their duties.
“The government should wake up from its slumber and assist in tracing the volunteers,” said Farhat Parveen from the NGO Now. She explained that the attacks and kidnappings occured in Peshawar last year and a similar phenomenon was now unfolding in Karachi.
Another human rights activist, Asad Iqbal Butt, condemned the inability of the government to control the terrorist attacks and kidnappings. The chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Zohra Yusuf, also condemned the kidnapping. “We are worried about the safety of all human rights defenders who have worked in difficult circumstances but face tougher challenges today,” she explained in a press statement. The media should highlight the threat to human rights activists, she added.
PMA condemns kidnappings
The Pakistan Medical Association’s Sindh chapter on Friday condemned the kidnapping of three NGO workers. Attacks on civil society and health workers are escalating every day, and this indicates the government’s lack of political will to control the situation, said PMA Sindh president Dr Samrina Hashmi. She demanded that the government rescue the kidnapped workers, and also appealed to the culprits that they do not harm the hostages.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2013.