[Reader-list] Our protest ends. Thank you all!

Zulfiqar Shah shahzulf at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 26 09:02:01 CDT 2014

Dear Friends: 
Hope you are doing fine! 
Finally, we concluded our protest sit-in on June 19 after continuously protesting for nine months (385 days) at Jantar Mantar (near Indian parliament) in Delhi against local facilitating in our persecution to Pakistan High Commission.  
Before concluding the protest sit-in, a Memorandum was also submitted with the Prime Minister Narendra Moodi’s office. Earlier the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued directives to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in April and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in May concerning our refugee status, visas and conducting an inquiry on our concerns. The commission also ordered the above mentioned departments to submit Action Taken Report to the NHRC within the devised period of time; however even after the NHRC’s time-frame, we haven’t heard back as yet. We have requested honorable (Indian) Prime Minister to take notice of the issue.  
In April 2014, the Supreme Court of India formed a bench of three judges led by the previous honorable Chief Justice of India. The apex court dismissed my petition since the honorable judges were “not interested to peruse my plea for lodging case against Pakistan High Commissioner” in Delhi; however the honorable Chief Justice thankfully offered me the facilitation of a lawyer if I was inclined to peruse the case of my refugee resettlement in India. Besides, the senior leadership of the NHRC also took the great note of my issue after hearing me in person.  
Fatima and myself are really grateful to the Indian journalists, academicians, students and youth activists for their kind support and solidarity. We are also thankful to human rights bodies as well as academicians and journalist associations based in USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Australia for their solidarity, support and input concerning our issue. We are particularly thankful to friends associated with Ekta Parishad, IAES (D) University, World Sindhi Congress (USA), Sindhi Association of North America (USA), personal friends from USA and Canada for their continuous being in touch and of support. The technical support by HRLN whenever required has been of great help.  
An invaluable benefit of the protest was the discussions with the larger activist and students groups from across India particularly from Delhi, Kerala, Karnatka, Madhya Pardesh, Rajastha, Punjab, Jamu & Kashmir, Utter Pardesh, Bihar, Gujarat, and Bengal along with the students from the major universities of Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and Kerala. It was really fruitful interaction while they curiously discussed human rights situation in Pakistan, issues of minorities, social movements in Sindh, peace in Southasia etc. We are also thankful to the Americas, European, Arabian and Iranian journalists who visited us during our protest. It was also great to discuss the issues with the Oxford University students. 
It was quite encouraging that some of the diplomats communicated to us for their being concerned about our issue. 
The kindness by Press Club of India is unforgettable. Some friends have been one mile ahead with us that included Mr. Vijay Bhariti, Ms. Rita Roy, Mr. Sansar Chandra, Dr. Surender Pathak, Mr. Anil Anand, Mr. Lakhwinder Singh, Dr. Lenin, Mr. Nahir Singh, Mr. A. K. Solanki, Saeen Saghir, Saeen Aziz, Muzafar, Sirai and others. 
The support and solidarity by Hindu Mahasabha, Vishaw Hindu Parishad, a few Muslim Ulema, and some Christian community activists, as well as some activists of BJP, Congress, AAP and JD (U) would remain unforgettable. 
Our issue is not resolved as yet. We are staying in a Sindhi refugee camp in Delhi. It is said that things are under process. What would finally happen? Time would decide! We hope that we would be in need of your support and kindness until we are finally re-settled anywhere as refugee. 
Zulfiqar Shah – Fatima Shah
New Delhi, India

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