“My son was born seven months after my husband went missing…he has never met his father, he just looks at his pictures."
- Zahida Sharif speaking to Amnesty International about her husband, 48-year old Dr.Abid Sharif, June 2010.
Dr Abid Sharif and his assistant Mansoor Mehdi have not been seen since 16 September 2005, when they were en route to a medical clinic for the poor in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar. Relatives blame Pakistan’s intelligence agencies for their disappearance because Dr Sharif was a vocal critic of Pakistan’s military ruler at the time, General Pervez Musharraf. The two are among the thousands who have been forcefully disappeared in Pakistan.
The practice of enforced disappearances has increased dramatically since Pakistan joined the US-led “war on terror” in 2001. Disappearances occur across the country but especially in Balochistan province in the south-west, which faces violence from ethnic and religious armed groups and state security forces. Activists, journalists, and students have been especially targeted and an increasing number haveA been found dead with their bodies showing signs of torture.
In Balochistan from October 2010 to May 2011 alone, Amnesty International recorded 93 cases of people who had been killed after being reported as missing. Many of the victims’ families blame state security forces, especially the paramilitary Frontier Corps for these killings.
A judicial Commission of Enquiry on Enforced Disappearances has failed to resolve the crisis or to hold the security forces and intelligence agencies to account in cases implicating them. The Prime Minister of Pakistan who controls the security agencies needs to urgently step in to address this human rights situation. Sign this petition to ensure he does.
We will deliver your signatures to the Prime Minister.
I call upon the Prime Minister of Pakistan to end the practice of enforced disappearance and hold those responsible to account. In particular, I urge you to:
- Ensure the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances has the power and resources to investigate cases of alleged disappearance.
- Ensure all individuals subjected to enforced disappearance are released or brought promptly before regular civilian courts and charged with a recognizable criminal offence.
- Ensure that those responsible for ordering or carrying out the enforced disappearances are brought to justice.