The issue was raised by fours MEPs in a letter to the European Commission after the brutal killings of a Baloch exiled Journalist Sajid Hussain and leader of Pakhtun Tahaffuz movement’ Arif Wazir allegedly by Pakistan Army’s Inter-service Intelligence (ISI) spy agency.
“It is not coincidental that the murders are taking place whilst the international community is distracted with the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan’s spy agency, ISI, has continued to silence human rights defenders and journalists both inside Pakistan and externally during this time,” the letter reads.
The letter has been written to the President of the commission Ursula Von der Leyen on Tuesday by for MEPs — Peter Lundgren, Bogdan Rzonca, Ryszard Czarnecki and Helmut Geuking — After the killings Pashtun leader and Baloch Journalist in Sweden.
On Friday, the 1st of May, Arif Wazir, a leader of PTM, was shot three times by unknown assailants near his home in Wanna, Waziristan. The PTM leadership said that he was killed by state-backed militants and urged the government to decimate terror ‘safe offices’ in Waziristan otherwise they will be forced to take weapons to evict them.
Sajid Hussain was an exiled Baloch journalist. Besides raising voice for the rights of Baloch people, he was the first to write against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Pakistani leg of China’s Belt and Road Initiative that cuts through Balochistan. He wrote about it in prominent international publications and also co-authored articles on it with foreign journalists.
The letter reads: “As Members of the European Parliament, we call on the European Commission to take strong action against Pakistan for the brutal murders of these two human rights defenders. Both murders were carried out by the Pakistani Intelligence.”
The MEPs also accused Pakistan of using its spy agency for silencing the human rights defenders and journalists. They asked the commission to support international human rights advocates, in calling for an independent and effective investigation into the ongoing attacks on Baluch activists and into enforced disappearances.
The MEPs also alleged that the Baloch people have no equal access to Covid-19 testing and medical supplies.