LAHORE: It has been six days now since peace activist Raza Khan went missing.Naseerabad police say investigation is underway but they haven’t yet made much progress in tracking down the whereabouts of the activist who was last seen at an open discussion held last Saturday on rising religious extremism in the society.The investigating officers told Daily Times that the police teams were utilising latest communications equipment available with the department to coordinate efforts with other law enforcement agencies.Raza’s brother Nasir Khan said that in a search carried out by a police team the only thing found missing from Raza’s apartment in Firdaus Market area was the central processing unit (CPU) of his desktop computer.Nasirabad police had lodged a kidnapping FIR in the matter last Sunday, a day after Raza was reported missing, on a complaint filed by his brother.Raza, 40, had been actively involved in running human rights campaigns. He was running an organisation called ‘Hum Sab Aik Hain’ (We Are All the Same).Raza’s family belongs to Kasur but he had been settled in Lahore for 10 years. Recently, he completed his masters education in the Gender Studies Department of the Punjab University.Umair Vahidy, who has known Raza for seven years, told Daily Times that when he and some other friends went looking for Raza’s to his apartment they found the door locked from outside. “We noticed that the light was switched on in his room. When broke the lock and went in, we found that his clothes were lying around the room. No valuable seemed to have been taken away by the abductors,” he said. Vahidy said besides running his own advocacy group Raza was also the convener of Aaghaz-e-Dosti – a youth-based initiative to promote peaceful co-existence between Pakistan and India through citizen diplomacy. The initiative is a joint venture of Pakistan-based The Catalyst of Peace (TCP) and India-based Mission Bhartiyam.About ‘Hum Sab Aik Hain’, Vahidy said the organisation was working to bring together Pakistani citizens from different socio-economic classes and religious affiliation for the cause of peaceful co-existence, tolerance and pluralism.Raza was actively involved in holding public talks at a shared space called Lowkey Lokai. “Raza was a proponent of peace in the South Asian region. He always stressed the importance of improving ties with SAARC countries to fight our common enemies of poverty, climate change and extremism,” Vahidy said. He said his friends remembered Raza as a law abiding and a peace loving citizen. “He is a peace activist and has held many events for promotion of harmony and tolerance in the society. We consider it the state’s responsibility to recover him and bring those responsible for his abduction to justice,” he said.Rights activist Saeeda Diep said that she along with other activists were worried about Raza’s wellbeing. She said she would raise the issue at all available forums until Raza was returned unharmed.“I am taking other activists and organisations on board and we will be organising a press conference to announce a campaign for his recovery,” she said.“Raza was a peace ambassador who wanted people to love one another and to settle their differences peacefully. He was a proponent of Pakistan-India friendship and tried his best to bring people from both sides of the border closer,” she said, adding that Raza had never talked about receiving any threat or anonymous phone calls.Published in Daily Times, December 8th 2017.