The story of Pakistan’s ‘disappeared’ Shias

Secunder Kermani at the BBC:

CCTV images from a local mosque show 30-year-old Naeem Haider being led away in handcuffs by more than a dozen armed men. Some have their faces covered with masks, others are in police uniform.

It was the night of 16 November 2016. Mr Haider has not been seen since. Despite the CCTV video evidence both the police and intelligence services have denied in court that he is in their custody.

Mr Haider is one of 140 Pakistani Shias to have “disappeared” over the past two years, according to community activists. Their families believe they were taken into custody by the intelligence services. Over 25 of the missing, including Mr Haider, belong to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi.

Mr Haider’s family say he had returned to the port city from pilgrimage in Karbala, Iraq, with his pregnant wife just two days before he was detained.

Uzma Haider has since given birth to a baby boy who has never seen his father.

“My kids are always asking me, ‘When will our dad come home?'” she told the BBC. “What answer can I give them? No-one is telling us where he is or how he is. At least tell us what he’s accused of.”

More here.