Feb 22, 2024

Voices of Resilience: The Legacy of Hidayat Lohar and the Courage of VMPS

Hidayat Lohar's life, a prominent educator and human rights defender, was tragically cut short on February 16, 2024, when he was attacked by an unidentified assailant while on his way to school in the Nasirabad District of Shahdadkot. His previous enforced disappearance for over two years highlighted the dangers faced by those fighting for justice and political freedoms in Sindh. Despite his abduction and the threats against his family, Mr. Lohar's daughters, Sorath and Sassui, showed remarkable resilience by establishing the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh (VMPS). https://twitter.com/vmpsindh2?lang=en

VMPS was born out of personal tragedy but it soon became a beacon of hope and resistance in the face of enforced disappearances plaguing Sindh. Sorath and Sassui's courageous advocacy shed light on the systemic issue of disappearances and rallied support for the release of Sindhi political workers.

The work of VMPS and the courage of Sorath and Sassui Lohar exemplify the resilience of those who dare to confront injustice. Their advocacy must be supported and amplified to ensure that the voices of the missing in Sindh are heard and that justice is served for Hidayat Lohar and countless others who have been victims of state violence.

In light of these grave violations, UNPO joins the World Sindh Congress in condemning them and demanding the international community, including the United Nations and the European Union, to take strong action. There is an urgent need for a UN investigation into Hidayat Lohar's murder and accountability for the perpetrators. Additionally, pressure must be exerted on Pakistan to end enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings and uphold its international human rights obligations.