European Commission urged to crack down on Pakistan for killing Pashtun leader
European Commission urged to crack down on Pakistan for killing Pashtun leader

Brussels: Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have called on European Commission to take "strong action" against Pakistan for brutal killings of Pashtun leader Arif Wazir and journalist Sajid Hussain.

In a letter to European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen on Tuesday, four MEPs-- Helmut Geuking, Peter Lundgren, Ryszard Czarnecki, Bogdan Rzonca-- accused Pakistan's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, of silencing human rights defenders and journalists.

Wazir, a leader of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), was attacked by unidentified assailants outside his home in Wana, South Waziristan on May 1. Hussain, who had been living in exile in Sweden, was found dead in a river in Stockholm after disappearing few weeks ago.

"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," read the letter.

The MEPs have also 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.

"It is not coincidental that these murders are taking place whilst the international community is distracted with the Coronavirus 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 read "Discrimination through the denial of access to Covid-19 testing and medical supplies has also been inflicted on the Baluch people during this period," it added.

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