His Excellency Nawaz Sharif
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Dear Honorable Prime Minister Sharif,
We share your desire for a peaceful, stable, and free Pakistan where all citizens can prosper.
We write with deep concern for the declining human rights situation in the Sindh province of Pakistan.
Sindhi activists are regularly persecuted for voicing their concerns about government policies. We are greatly troubled by reports of repression and attacks on nonviolent, politically active Sindhis -- attacks that include enforced disappearances, torture, and executions.
One horrific example includes the case of Maqsood Qureshi and Salman Wadho who were allegedly shot and then burned alive inside of their car while traveling to a political rally in Karachi. We stress the need for those responsible for ordering these killings, and similar attacks, to be held accountable for these appalling violations of basic human rights.
There are similar reports regarding Baloch political activists, with mass graves being discovered in the province of Balochistan.
The human rights violations are not only political, but also religious in nature. Hindu Sindhis experience increasing encroachments on their ability to freely practice their religion. Accounts of Hindu temples in Sindh being forcibly entered and desecrated represent an affront to the rule of law and basic tenets of religious tolerance.
Christians, Shi'a, and other religious minorities in Sindh have also deeply suffered. Scores of Pakistani Shi'a and Christians have been killed or injured in attacks, many of them in Karachi and Hyderabad. Christians are regularly detained, tried, imprisoned, and even sentenced to death for allegedly violating blasphemy laws. Houses of worship have been attacked, as well.
We believe that all persons should be free to practice their religion and should not be immersed in fear because radicals deem them to be blasphemous.
We fear that certain radical and violent groups are allowed to act with impunity by elements of Pakistani security forces. If this is true, we urge you to address the situation accordingly by strongly countering these actions and policies throughout the Pakistani government.
We believe that the basic provisions of human rights can and should be provided by the Government of Pakistan to Sindhis and the Baloch alike. We urge you to seriously address these concerns and work to make Pakistan a free and fair country for all to live in, where religious minorities are not persecuted and differing political beliefs are not met with violence.
Thank you for your attention this critical matter.