October 1, 2018
The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of Stale
2301 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20522
Dear Secretary Pompeo,
We write to you as members of the Congressional Sindh Caucus to express our concerns aboutPakistan’s human rights violations in Sindh, and urge you to raise these issues in your meeting with
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Specifically, we ask you to raise two issues: enforceddisappearances in Sindh and the construction of dams along the Indus River without Sindh’s consent.
The worst human tights abuses in Sindh are the continued enforced disappearances. The United Nations Human Rights Committee defines enforced disappearances as an arrest or detention by stateofficials followed by a refusal to acknowledge the persotis fate or whereabouts. Hundreds of peopLe
in Sindh have been forcefully disappeared in this way. This includes writers, students, activists, and politicians who campaign for human rights. Some of these individuals have ended up dead, and their families have never received the justice they deserve. To cite just one example, Dr. Anwar Laghari was murdered three years ago and not a single court hearing has been held to determine who isresponsible.
Another pressing issue is the Pakistani government’s construction of dams and canals along the Indus River without the Sindh community’s consent. The Indus River is the lifeblood of the economy in
Sindh, and Sindh and Punjab have long shared this vital water source equitably.
This has changed with the unauthorized construction of dams and canals that are depriving Sindh of a fair share of the
water supply. Some dams are also causing saltwater intrusions from the Arabian Sea, which hasdestroyed large amounts of fertile land in Sindh. All of this has contributed to worsening economic conditions in Sindh, with the United Nations estimating that 75 percent of rural residents now live in abject poverty.
We believe it is important for you to raise these issues with Foreign Minister Qureshi to encouragePakistan to strengthen its human rights record and improve the lives of the Sindhi people.
Member of Congress