NPR

Concern Grows In Pakistan Over Cases Of Disappearance

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan counted more than 700 alleged disappearances last year. Since 2001, the group estimates that as many as 10,000 people have gone missing.
Friends of Nawaz Atta, a missing activist, accompany his mother at a police station to report the man's disappearance. Atta was taken by armed men in late October. Source: Diaa Hadid

For one Pakistani mother, sunburn signals her desperation to find her son.

Zarjan Atta rode rickshaws and buses for four days on desert roads, deepening and reddening her brown skin, as she traveled from her village to Karachi, Pakistan's southern port mega-city.

That's where her son Nawaz, 23, was living with relatives and studying at Karachi University. Her relatives say armed men dragged him from their flat on Oct. 28. They were in civilian clothes.

They pushed the women and children into a room. They warned: If you speak, you'll be next.

The counted 728 alleged disappearances last year. Since 2001, the group estimates that up to 10,000 people have gone missing, with nearly 3,000 still unaccounted for. And

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR5 min read
Portraying Celia: The Role Of A Lifetime (Or Two)
How do you inhabit the world's most well-known Latin singer? For singers and actresses Aymée Nuviola and Jeimy Osorio, playing Celia Cruz meant staying in touch with pain, joy and destiny.
NPR2 min read
For A Black Woman In The Military, Harassment Was Its Own Battle
At StoryCorps, retired Col. Denise Baken says the challenges she faced as both a woman and an African American in the Army weighed her down over time, mentally and physically.
NPR3 min read
'A Cosmology Of Monsters' Blends Freaky Frights And Family Feels
Shaun Hamill's new novel uses the lens of horror to examine the ways we interact and fail to interact with each other, and the way a family can be held together by the very things that tear it apart.