New Delhi: Highlighting enforced disappearances in Pakistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), India on Monday said that in Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘Naya Pakistan’ (new Pakistan), you may not return home. First Secretary Senthil Kumar at India’s mission in United Nations Geneva, said, “In Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan, you may not return home.”
Kumar also said, “Security forces in Pakistan have gained proficiency in unlawful killings and kidnapping of people in so-called counter-terrorism operations. This has been compounded by a weak judiciary in Pakistan which has consistently failed to protect even the basic human rights of the people in Pakistan.”
New Delhi pointed to the harassment faced by Pakistani journalist Marvi Sirmed, Ahmed Noorani, Gul Bhukari and detention of human rights defender Idris Khattak. Kumar said, “Targeting of journalists through threats, assaults, arrests instilling extreme fear and self-censorship exposes the fallacy of Pakistan’s so-called military-run ‘democratic’ system.”
India also gave a detailed account of cases of “enforced disappearances, murders, detentions, custodial deaths and torture of civil rights activists, representatives of local political parties and journalists” in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The statement said, “It’s well documented that a large number of Kashmiri detainees are in secret detention facilities in Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Territories now for several years and they have been severely tortured by the security forces. “
The focus was also on the arbitrary detention of any person in Pakistani provinces of Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh with the statement saying, “Cries of Baloch sister Haseeba Qambrani for her brothers Hasaan and Hizbullah Qambrani, who have been forcibly taken away by the Pakistan military go unheard. “
It is also to be noted that in Pakistan, minorities have to face severe consequences. United States Commission on International Religious Freedom 2020 report has taken note of forced conversation of girls from minority Hindu, Christian and Sikh communities in Pakistan and how local police has been often complicit to it. The Sikh community in the country has reported more than 55 such instances of abductions and forced conversions in the past few months.
On Monday, India strongly raised the matter of abduction of a Sikh girl in Pakistan with the Pakistani establishment. On September 18, India summoned a senior Pakistani diplomat from the Pakistani high commission in Delhi over the issue and issue a strong demarche or letter of protest on the issue.
Last week, it came to light that the daughter of Pritam Singh, Bulbul Kaur has been abducted and being converted forcibly. Pritam Singh is the head Granthi of Gurdwara Panja Sahib. Panja Sahib located in Pakistan’s Hasan Abdal is considered an important Sikh place of worship since it has the handprint of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak.
A candlelight march will take place near Pakistan high commission in Delhi on Tuesday to protest against the development. Around 50 Sikh ladies will be part of the candlelight march.
Earlier conversion of Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur to Ayesha Bibi had rocked the Sikh community in Pakistan. A court had ruled that Jagjit should go with her “husband” Muhammad Hassan. Hassan says Jagjit alias “Ayesha bibi” married to him on her own accord which has been disputed by her family.
Jagjit Kaur is the daughter of the Granthi of Nankana Sahib Gurudwara, one of the holiest Sikh places of worship since it is the birthplace of the founder of Sikhism– Guru Nanak.
Nine family members of “converted” Sikh Girl Jagjit Kaur from Pakistan’s Nankana Sahib had written to authorities asking them to make a passport for them as they want to leave the country.