New Delhi: Civil liberties activists in Pakistan are being battered by the Pakistani army and its notorious spy wing Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). An Islamabad-based human rights body has written to MyNation to raise its voice regarding “forced-disappearances” of rights activists and those dissenting against the regime.

An NGO dedicated to the “speedy release of 50,000 Baloch and Pashtuns disappeared by Pakistan Army and ISI”, Pakistan Human Rights Anonymous (PHRA) has also lodged two complaints with the United Nations’ President of Human Rights Council in this respect. PHRA shared the complaints with MyNation.

The ‘anonymous’ in the name reflects the state of affairs: the organisation keeps the identity of its members undisclosed lest their lives and livelihood would be jeopardised and we too are not at liberty to unveil that information.

In a complaint lodged with commissioner Vojislav Suc, PHRA has sought the “safe release” of Asad Khan, a Pashtun youth from Buner district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan “from torture cell of Pakistan Army and its intelligence agency ISI”.

“We, the ethnic minorities of Pakistan are reeling under the intense pressure of Pakistani security forces and intelligence agencies. Baloch, Pashtuns and Sindhis are most brutally oppressed communities of Pakistan. Enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killings, abductions and illegal torture cell confinement of political prisoners is very common in Pakistan,” PHRA wrote to Suc.

“With this letter, we would like to request you to immediately intervene in the matter of enforced disappearance of dynamic Pashtun youth Mr Asad Khan from Buner district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 19, 2018.

Khan had led a couple of peaceful protests on streets against the high handedness of the Pakistani army. “After that, Pakistani Army and intelligence agency ISI started tracking him and abducted him on August 19, 2018.

After repeated requests to track him, he went untraced and is believed to be in dark torture cells of Pakistani agencies, where such detainees are exposed to inhuman and extreme mental and physical conditions,” the complaint said.

PHRA’s second complaint to Suc pertains to the “abduction of retired Brigadier and senior ISI officer by Pakistan Army, from Sector G-1/2 of Islamabad on October 10, 2018”.

Citing media reports, PHRA claimed that retired senior Pakistan Army officer and former senior ISI officer Brigadier Rizwan had been abducted by Pakistani Army.

PHRA representatives met Brigadier Rizwan’s son Muhammad Ali Rizwan. “At the time of the meeting visibly shaken Muhammad Rizwan narrated that Chief of Army Staff and other top-ranking Pakistani Army officers had serious differences with his Brigadier father. Family members told that Military Intelligence officer deployed in that locality was responsible for his abduction. And Army hierarchy was forcing his father to part away from Inter-Services Intelligence-ISI,” PHRA said in its complaint.

PHRA also claimed that the Brigadier’s son also said that similar modus operandi of “enforced disappearance” was adopted by the army in Balochistan and FATA.

“PHRA wants to appeal people of Pakistan to raise their voices against countless Baloch, Pashtuns and Sindhis which are forcefully abducted by Pakistani Army,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, when MyNation asked the rights body if any FIR or police complaint had been lodged with regard to Khan’s missing, this is what they said: “Unfortunately, no FIR has been registered after the disappearance. You can see that Pashtuns, Baloch, Sindhis and all other non-Punjabis are third-grade citizens of Pakistan. So any attempt to lodge a complaint against such atrocities invite more brutal oppression. So please publish this if and when possible.”