During the ongoing 29th UNHRC Session, the European Mojahir Network organized an event on June 19, 2015 focusing 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 KP.
The speakers claimed that the mohajirs continue to face persecution by the Pakistani Government and therefore, live shattered lives in the land they accepted after partition. One wonders whom were the speakers talking about?
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.
The speakers claimed that in the last few months many hundreds of lives have been lost on the streets of Karachi as targeted killings have increased; 74 kidnappings for ransom have been reported between January and June 2015 itself; 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.
The riots of 1965 were mentioned which were claimed to have killed hundreds of innocent people calling for equal status in Pakistani Society.
It was alleged that over 1.3 million lives in targeted killing of the Mojahirs have been lost since 1947.
The speakers asked the international community to contemplate on these fictitious claims and condemn the Pakistani Government for its stubbornness for deliberately ostracizing the Mojahirs; they also called on the community to 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 Criminal Court.
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.
European Mohajir Network