HYDERABAD: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Hyderabad special task force on Wednesday organised an event to reiterate the need for the government to criminalise enforced disappearances to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, and appealed for their release. Reportedly, the event was organised at the Hyderabad press club where intellectuals, activists of civil society organisations and family members of disappeared persons were also present. During the event, Prof Dr Badar Soomro asserted that it was the responsibility of the state to resolve critical issues of the society. He revealed that the HRCP has already sent a petition to the United Nations Organisation (UNO) regarding the matter of missing persons of Balochistan, and the human rights activists were left with no other option except to file another petition for missing persons of Sindh. He further claimed that the province has been deprived of basic necessities of life, and people have been living ‘a miserable life’. He lashed out at the media groups for not raising the issue of missing persons, and said that it seemed that the media has been working under intense pressure. “Most elected members of provincial and national assemblies belonged to the system of feudalism, and so we cannot expect from them to raise their voices for missing persons,” he said. Professor Mushtaq Mirani said that scores of persons were whisked away from Sindh. “Ask their families, how miserable life they have been living while waiting for recovery of their beloved ones. People are not enjoying freedom in the country despite such rights are secured by the Constitution,” he said, adding that in western countries, people have been guaranteed equal rights. He expressed profound concerns over what he called double standards of the Sindh government as it raised the issue of disappearances of Ghulam Qadir Mari and Ashfaq Leghari with the federal government because they were front-men of Asif Ali Zardari, and consequently they were recovered, but it was not the case with other disappeared persons. Professor Imdad Chandio said that in the era of General Zia-ul Haq, if anybody was arrested his family was informed about the reason and he was presented in the military court and sentenced, but expressed displeasure over current situation in the country and termed it even worse than under Gen. Zia-ul Haq because families of disappeared persons know nothing about their whereabouts. He claimed that democratic norms have not been implemented in the country. HRCP representative Ghufrana Arain told the media that currently 3,500 persons were missing from many parts of the country, and 149 were from Sindh. Besides, Punhal Saryo, Advocate Amjad Palijo, Parveen Soomro, Zulfiqar, Halepoto, Sindhu Nawaz and other influential persons also spoke on the occasion. Published in Daily Times, October 11th 2018.