May 03, 2012

Sindh: Appeal to Stop Police Operation

A group of Sindh diaspora organisations have come together in a bid to make Pakistani authorities cease the police operation taking place in the town of Lyari, whose communities are currently deprived of water, electricity, food and medicine as a result of the operation.

Below is a press release from the World Sindhi Institute:

The undersigned Sindhi Diaspora Organizations  (SDOs) once again appeal to the President and  Prime Minister of Pakistan,  Home Minister,  Chief Minister,  Governor  and Inspector General Sindh Police to immediately halt the police operation in the densely populated town of  Lyari, a community of over 1.2 million people in western Karachi, the capital of Sindh.

Since previous appeals have failed, we also appeal to the Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Justices of Sindh and Balochistan High Courts to take Suo Moto action in view of the failure of the Executive to save ordinary labouring citizens from this acute hardship in the  war zone of Lyari allegedly created by the coalition politics of PPP and MQM to serve their own nefarious interests. We also appeal to the HRCP to officially seek an explanation from the Chaudhary Aslam Khan, Director General of the CID as to why this police operation was initiated in only Lyari when all of Karachi is infested with weapons and criminals backed by political organizations?

The death toll by some reliable accounts has risen to nearly 40 in only 6 days of "Police Operations".

Water, electricity, food, medicines remain absent whilst only one political organization, a coalition partner of current government is allowed to "distribute rations" and other NGOs are denied security and permission for entering Lyari.

All over Sindh and Balochistan ordinary law abiding members of Civil Society and all the workers and cadres and leadership of all parties, professional organizations and NGOs,  are staging protests in support of their brethren  in Lyari, yet the powers that be remain deaf to these appeals. There is  public outrage at the inhuman and cruel treatment being meted to residents of Lyari, yet the Chief Minister Sindh proclaimed last night, in a press conference  that "there is no time frame for cessation of police operations in Lyari"

The undersigned SDOs once again demand that Lyarites stop being singled out for spurious "Police Operations” and instead  peaceful democratic exchange and dialogue with area residents and respected leaders of the communities be immediately initiated. The undersigned SDOs believe that deliberate attempts are being made to pit Katchhis against the Baloch, so that conditions of hostility and mistrust will prevail between both indigenous historically settled communities, for political gains of a particular party in the next elections. The undersigned SDOs also believe, that the people of Baloch community are possibly being singled out and targeted due to the campaign for basic fundamental rights in all corners of Balochistan.

The undersigned SDOs are committed to non-violent struggle and reiterate that  it is only through peaceful dialogue with local leaders who enjoy the trust and confidence of ordinary residents that peace and harmony can be achieved and lives and livelihoods can be restored.

Endorsed by:

International Sindhi Womens Organization (ISWO)

Sindhi Association of North America (SANA)

Sindhi Sangat Middle East (SSME)

World Sindhi Congress (WSC)

World Sindhi Institute (WSI)