Who is Raza Khan, why is he missing, and why do I care?


Lahore, Dec. 11: Protesting the disappearance of activist Raza Mahmood Khan. (Rahat Dar/European Pressphoto Agency/EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

On Dec 2, 2017, a peace activist disappeared from Lahore. Raza Khan is one of over 1,400 missing persons in Pakistan whose cases the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances is hearing.

Who is Raza Khan, why is he missing and why do I care? Raza Khan’s disappearance, like that of Zeenat Shehzadi earlier, is part of a new phase of such illegal abductions in Pakistan, violating due process and rule of law. Targeting young people from ordinary backgrounds, without social capital or networks, signals a growing desperation to control the narrative on the military, religion and India. My piece,  In Pakistan, promoting peace with India can be bad for your health — and freedom, published in The Washington Post, Dec. 22. 

A former IG Police and head of anti-terrorism points to the “dark forces” behind disappearances like this one: A prison of our own making – Tariq Khosa in Dawn.com, Dec. 23.

Find Raza posterA close friend of Raza Khan writes about the kind of person he is. From all accounts, this is a man who should be getting recognition and awards for his selfless dedication and hard work, not detained and tortured (which is almost certainly what’s happening to him) – A prisoner of conscience, TNS, Dec. 23.

Brilliant piece pulling together a lot of connected strands: The unbearable cost of advocating peace – Raza Rumi in Daily Times, Dec 23.

Here’s the link to the Find Raza Facebook page if you want to know more. There’s a twitter campaign every night at 9 pm Pakistan time #FindRaza.

There’s clearly a lot of paranoia afoot. Pakistan closes 27 NGOs in what activists see as widening crackdown – part of a periodic crackdown on NGOs. Many newspapers carried an abridged version; this is the complete report from Reuters. Ahmed Rashid explains why this move will strengthen extremist groups.

Not all bad news – not that I support censorship but this guy really took the cake for false allegations of blasphemy and inciting violence –  Pakistani Anchor Barred From Appearing on TV for Inciting Hatred – good report in VOA.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: