Participants discussed forced disappearance, forced conversions and other human rights issues
World Sindhi Congress (WSC) held an interactive discussion event on 30th June 2023 in Peterborough, Canada, titled ‘Current Situation in Pakistan – What the Oppressed Nations Should Do?’
The special guest of the event, Atif Tauqeer, a renowned vlogger, poet, journalist, and human rights activist from Germany, spoke in detail on the subject. The other participants included leaders of the diaspora organizations of the oppressed nations, political activists, writers, poets and journalists.
The contributions on the subject were made by Dr. Zafar Baloch, the leader of the Baloch Human Rights Council, Mumtaz Khan President of the International Center for Peace and Democracy, Andrew Lamkiewicz of World Sindhi Congress. Afaf, a researcher on forced religious conversion, poetess Huma Dilawar, human rights activist and poet Ruhi Kalhoro, and president of Sana Ontario, Imtiaz Shaikh.
At the start, Hajan Kalhoro, the Senior Vice Chairman World Sindhi Congress, welcomed the guests who came to speak and participate. He presented the case of Sindh against the backdrop of the dire situation of the oppressed nations in Pakistan. To remember the missing persons the video of Sheikh Ayaz’s song ‘We will meet when the red flowers bloom’, sung by Saif Samijo in his melodious voice was shown.
The speakers talked about various aspects of the situation of oppressed nations in Pakistan particularly on enforced disappearance of political workers and forced conversion of Sindhi Hindu girls. As a coincidence the WSC documentary about forced religious conversion produced for the ‘The Hague Human Rights Film Festival’ by the Global Human Rights on the same day was screened at the event.
Afterwards, Affaf Azhar talked in detail about his research and findings on forced religious conversions in Pakistan.
The key message of the deliberations was that the current situation of the oppressed nations is the gravest that keeps worsening. The way forward is the unity of the oppressed nations on the ground and internationally. A large scale mobilization is needed on the ground to counter the atrocities and internationally to muster the action from the International Community.
Following this, Nadir Baloch presented the poetry of Gul Naseer Khan’s Balochi with translation. Irfan Sattar, Salman Haider and Huma Dilawar recited their selected poetry in the program on the subject of the situation of oppressed nations, highlighting the human rights atrocities.
In the end, Atif Tauqeer recited his famous poem on forced disappearances reminding and remembering the pain from Sindhu to Attock:
ميری گلياں يہ خبريں اگلتی رہيں
ميرے اپنے کئی گمشده ہوگئے
مسخ لاشيں تواتر سے ملتی رہيں
سلسلا ہوس ناک چلتا رہا
شہر جلتا رہا، ديس جلتا رہا
لوگ مرتے رہے، در اکهڑتے رہے
ايک کے بعد ايک گهر اجڑتا رہا
آج سندهو سے فاٹا تلک خون ہے
ميرے کشمير بولان سنسانياں
ميرے شہروں ميں ہيں عسکری ٹولياں
My streets continued to spew the news
Many of my own have gone missing
Mutilated corpses continued to be found
The perennial cruelty continued
The city kept burning, the country kept burning
People kept dying, doors kept falling
One after the other house got ruined
Today blood spreads from Sindhu to Fata
Hush prevails in my Kashmir and Bolan
Military clusters keep wandering my cities.
At the end of the program, Fiza Kalhoro thanked the guests. The event was moderated by Sindhi journalist Manzoor Mirani. (PR)