Sit-in against ‘enforced disappearances’ ends

Published May 1, 2021
Family members of missing persons protest outside the Mehfil Shah-i-Khorasan mosque in this file photo. — Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
Family members of missing persons protest outside the Mehfil Shah-i-Khorasan mosque in this file photo. — Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: The Joint Action Committee for Shia Missing Persons on Friday ended a sit-in against ‘enforced disappearances’ near mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah after 28 days following “successful talks” with representatives of the government and state institutions as “some persons” were released while “assurances” were given for the release of more persons, according to the organizers of the protest.

Speaking at a press conference, religious scholars and relatives of the missing persons said that they held talks with the government and state institutions’ representatives during which deadlock also occurred but at the end “some missing persons were released.”

Besides, the authorities have also given assurances to them that “more missing persons would be released.”

“We announce to end sit-in at the Mazar-i-Quaid,” declared the leaders of joint action committee including Allama Ahmed Iqbal Rizvi, Allama Nazir Abbas Taqvi, Allama Baqir Zaidi, Allama Dr Aqeel Moosa, Allama Haider Abbas, Allama Sadiq Taqvi and others.

They said that they ended the protest after consultation with the families of the missing persons. “We are ending the sit-in but our movement for release of missing persons would continue,” vowed the leaders of several religious parties.

“We hope that the representatives of the government and state institutions would fulfil their promise and other missing persons would also be released very soon,” said the leaders.

Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen leader Allama Baqir Zaidi pointed out that more than a hundred Shia persons were missing but after sustained protest movement, around 60 persons have been released and reached their homes safely.

Missing person Ali Haider’s father Alamdar expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the protest. Wife of another missing person, Abrar Hasan, also expressed her gratitude to media and political and religious parties for showing their solidarity for release of the missing persons.

The organizers pointed out that they were patriotic and they agreed to end sit-in owing to Covid-19 and current situation in the country.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2021

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