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Disappearance of activists
Dawn, January 07, 2007

IT is extremely disturbing to read about the ‘disappearance’ of political activists throughout the country, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan. Once it was the dictatorships in Chile and other Latin American countries that were infamous for this heinous crime against humanity. Now the practice has come closer to our homes.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan must be praised for its suo motu action into the matter resulting in the freedom of some of the ‘disappeared’ activists. The action needs to be expanded, as many more still remain unaccounted for.

One such person is Dr Safdar Sarki, a political and human rights activist who was arrested on Feb 24, 2006 in Karachi. Eyewitness accounts in the press said that Dr Sarki was severely beaten at the time of his arrest and was taken blindfolded to an unknown location.

They had also identified the police official who had made the arrest. Dr Sarki’s relatives and friends in Pakistan and his wife in the US have since tried their utmost to know his whereabouts and well-being but to their dismay nothing is known of him so far. This is a serious humanitarian issue and it should be a matter of great concern for all the citizens of the country, as the loss of liberty for one should be considered the loss of liberty for all.

The government should either produce him in a court of law if there are any charges against him or it should release him immediately and take action against the officials who have arrested or kidnapped him.

Otherwise all the talk of establishing the writ of law would just be a ruse. One also requests the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take a suo motu notice of this matter on humanitarian grounds as the life of Dr Sarki may be in real danger.

Texas, USA

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