LAHORE: Expressing concern over the abduction and murder of Jeay Sindh Mutahidda Mahaz (JSMM) activist Muneer Cholyani, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said on Tuesday the incident appeared to be the continuation of a disturbing trend in Sindh where individuals affiliated with nationalist groups and political parties were being targeted.

In a statement, the commission said: “HRCP condemns in the strongest terms the abduction and murder of JSMM media coordinator Munir Cholyani. Cholyani, who had physical disabilities and was wheelchair-bound, was abducted when he was travelling along with his wife and daughter from their village in Larkana to Sun town in Jamshoro district on May 29. Armed men in a white jeep followed their car and stopped them near the Indus Highway.

His wife said the armed men dragged the political activist out of the car, beat him and took him away. His body was found three hours later in Sehwan.

Witnesses saw four men taking Cholyani out of the jeep with his hands tied behind his back and shooting him in the head.

“The targeting of activists of nationalist parties in Sindh is reaching an alarming proportion. Even more disturbing is the fact that the killers have not been arrested in any of these cases. The JSMM has pointed the finger at state agents for Cholyani’s murder. It is imperative that the charge is thoroughly investigated to the satisfaction of the party and the relatives, something which has not been done hitherto in any such case in Sindh.

“In fact, Munir Cholyani’s nephew Rooplo was among three political activists assassinated in Sanghar in April 2011. Their bodies were then placed in their car and set on fire. The killers remain at large. An HRCP fact-finding a fortnight after the 2011 killing had expressed an alarm at the lack of urgency shown in holding a credible and thorough probe into the matter. Nothing has been done in the three years since to dispel that concern.

“HRCP has little doubt that these killings are aimed at bringing a Balochistan-like chaos to Sindh and the attempts must be resisted with full force. We are also certain that nothing will change without the government’s strong resolve to end blatant killings.

The commission calls upon the federal and provincial governments and the judiciary to take note of the systematic targeting of political activists in Sindh and immediately institute a judicial inquiry to promptly identify and punish the killers to remove the aura of impunity.

In view of the past experience, HRCP also must insist that the findings of such a probe must not be kept from the people.”

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2014

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