‘Missing’ MQML-backed independent candidates return home

By Our Correspondent
February 22, 2024

Nisar Panhwar and Mohsin Panhwar, the father and son who ran as independent candidates for national and provincial assemblies respectively, and were supported by Altaf Hussain’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement, also known as MQM-London, in the 2024 general elections, have returned home after over 40 days of allegedly enforced disappearance.

Supporters of the Pakistani political Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-Pakistan) attend a campaign meeting in Karachi. — AFP/File

The announcement of their return was made by Mansoor Panhwar, Nisar’s son and Mohsin’s brother, on his X (formerly Twitter) account. The social media platform has been inaccessible in the country since Sunday because it has allegedly been blocked by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on the interior ministry’s directions.

In his post on X, Mansoor thanked everyone who raised their voice for the recovery of his father and brother, and claimed that they had been taken away by law enforcement agencies from their home in Saadi Town on January 9 after they had filed their nomination papers with the election commission.

Rights activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir, who also contested as an independent candidate in the February 8 polls, congratulated the father and son on their return, and expressed hope that they are in good health.

“Who will account for these 40 days in this system? Neither the media is allowed to ask questions nor do the courts feel the need to seek answers. May Allah be with us.”

Mohsin wrote on his purported X account: “Alhumdulillah, after 44 days of government hospitality, finally got released from illegal imprisonment. Thanks to all friends and brothers who raised their voices. Allah is great.” A petition regarding the allegedly enforced disappearance of the father and son had also been filed with the Sindh High Court by their family.