- Dozens of PTM sympathisers, including Hashim Khan Mandokhel, ‘disappeared’ ahead of Karachi rally
LAHORE: Dr Riaz Ahmed, head of Karachi University’s chemistry department has gone missing from Karachi since last night.
According to the family of Dr Riaz, he contacted his wife around 8 pm on Friday. There has been no information regarding the whereabouts of the KU professor since then. His cell phone has also been powered off.
Dr Riaz Ahmed is a political and social rights activist, who has always been on the forefront when it comes to protests for the rights of the oppressed. Recently, he was active for the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) rally in Karachi.
Many have linked his disappearance with the clampdown on PTM sympathisers in Karachi. However, his colleagues and family deny this.
Karachi University Teachers’ Association (KUTA), in an emergency meeting, denounced the disappearance of Dr Riaz and termed it an attack on academic freedom. They demanded Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and Chief Justice Saqib Nisar take notice of his disappearance and get him released.
They also said that the faculty would boycott the announcement of the result of M.Phil, Ph.D entry tests until and unless Dr Riaz is released.
PTM ACTIVISTS GO MISSING:
Many PTM workers have also been reported missing from their workplaces ahead of controversial May 13 rally.
According to PTM’s Mohsin Dawar, three of their comrades were detained from the Karachi Commissioner’s Office when they are called in for a dialogue.
“Commissioner Karachi called us for a meeting to discussed the arrangements for 13th May Rally But our friends were stopped at the gate of commissioners office by security agencies, snatched everyone’s mobiles and picked up three of our friends, Gul Marjan, Hashim and Saifullah,” he shared in a tweet.
It may be noted here that Hashim Mandokhel is the central figure for canvassing the PTM rally in Karachi.
“The law enforcement agencies are treating us like thieves,” Hashim had told Pakistan Today after an incident wherein at least 20 armed men barged in their room and harassed.
Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir said that “Hashim Khan, who played an instrumental role in highlighting Naqeebullah Mehsud’s extrajudicial killing, was picked up last night for supporting PTM”.
In a statement, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also condemned the authorities’ clampdown on activists associated with the PTM.
The HRCP reiterated that all people have a constitutional right to peaceful assembly: ‘The Commission is gravely concerned over reports that more than 150 PTM activists and sympathizers – including Karachi University professor Dr Riaz Ahmed – have gone missing or been arrested, many of them on charges of sedition and terrorism. The authorities’ disproportionate response is unwarranted, given that the PTM rallies held to date have remained peaceful.’