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'It's a Message That We Are to Stop Activism': Daughters of Murdered Sindhi Political Activist

A prominent activist, Hidayat Lohar was gunned down on February 16, 2024, in Nasirabad, near Larkana city, Sindh.
Sasui (left) and Sorath Lohar. Photo: Veengas

Nasirabad (Pakistan): “Being a Sindhi, if you are speaking out for rights in Pakistan, you will get killed and threatened,” says Sorath Lohar who leads the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh.

A prominent activist, Sorath’s father, Hidayat Lohar was gunned down on February 16, 2024 in Nasirabad, near Larkana city, Sindh, Pakistan. He was a teacher and a Sindhi nationalist.

On the day that he was assassinated, he was on his way to school. Two people on a motorcycle shot him just steps away from the police station. Police could not trace the culprits.

Since his assassination, the victim’s family has been demanding a First Information Report be filed and seeking justice. The incident drew attention to Nasirabad, a small and underdeveloped town where living conditions are dire. On the third day after the murder, police vehicles had surrounded the whole area, raising concerns among the residents.

Sorath described the situation, saying, “It feels as if they are planning to attack us again.”

Despite their heavy presence, the police have failed to find any clues regarding Hidayat’s killing and have refused to lodge the FIR. 

Sorath Lohar. Photo: Veengas


Hidayat Lohar was abducted in 2017 by Pakistan agencies and released in 2019. Sorath and Sasui Lohar, his daughters, both became prominent activists at around 2014, while they were in university. Sasui, aged 31, also leads the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh or VMPS.

Both sisters spoke with The Wire, narrating why their father and other Sindhis are being killed in the Sindh province.

Sorath added that her father was abducted for a second time in 2023 and warned to stop Sorath from leading VMPS. She said, “My father had been inactive in politics since his release and was suffering from illness. Yet, he loved Sindh.”

She asked why it’s considered a crime for Sindhis to love their land, even though they are non-violent.

She added that her father was not the first to be killed. Earlier, Niaz Lashari was killed in 2017, and no one came forward to help his family, the sisters said. “Asif Panhwar and Munir Cholani were also killed. Munir was brutally tortured after abduction and then left paralysed. What happened to him? Security agencies took him off the bus and fired at his head in front of his family members,” she said.

The sisters stressed that there has been no media attention to Sindhi or Baloch people’s struggles.

“The voices that demand rights irritate the state because those who know they are wrong will hardly accept dissenting voices from people who are sons and daughters of the soil. The Pakistani state acts fearfully,” Sorath said.

The sisters show me their father’s room and his collection of Sindhi books.

Sit-in for an FIR

The Lohars led a march from their house to the Nasirabad highway to start a sit-in demanding the filing of an FIR.

Sasui chanted slogans and delivered speeches at every stop, urging people to join the sit-in. At one point, she spoke with a broken voice, emphasizing that her father was not killed in a personal feud and that he was raising his voice for Sindhis and their future generations.

Understanding that heavy police presence prevented some from joining the protest, Sasui asked people to at least chant a slogan from where they were. Young people, even children, many of whom were visibly poor, joined the protest.

When the protest reached the Nasirabad highway, the police outnumbered the protesters. Some police officers even attempted to incite the protesters, but the organisers remained.

Sasui asked how it was that when the family possessed evidence, including an identity card left at the crime scene belonging to a person from Sargodha, a city in Punjab, police still could not file an FIR by naming the accused. She said there has been pressure to accede to an FIR against unknown people.

A police officer at the spot told The Wire that cops would register an FIR “based on the actual position.” When asked about what the “actual position” entailed, he could not provide a clear answer. 

No Sindhi nationalist leaders or activists were present at the sit-in which only saw the sisters, along with their two young brothers and a few political workers.

When asked about the lack of response from across Pakistan regarding their father’s killing, despite the fact that he has been raising his voice for missing persons, Sorath responded that she never expected political leadership, Pakistan-based feminists, or even parliamentarians and politicians to speak up for their cause. She said that it had been three days, and not a single politician had offered condolences. However, Dr. Mahrang Baloch, prominent activist, had tweeted about her father and expressed solidarity with the oppressed people’s struggle. Common people had also voiced support, she said.

Sasui was determined that she would continue her legal battle to get justice for her father, regardless of how long the process might take.


Hidayat’s widow meanwhile requested this journalist to convince her daughters to remain silent as she could not afford another brutal incident in retaliation for their activism.

“My husband sacrificed his life for Sindh, it is an honour that he was killed as a martyr,” she said.

Sorath shared that Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) held a conference against her, alleging that she was receiving foreign funding to lead VMPS. “Security agencies warned my father to not allow me to continue with my activism. Though CTD has not established any kind of evidence of funding, my relatives are pressuring me to step back,” she said.

But the sisters are resolute that they won’t live in silence.

Some who spoke to this journalist refused to be named out of fear – a common response given the number of warnings and threats received by the Lohars themselves.

Sasui Lohar. Photo: Veengas

‘Balochistan like-situation’

Sarang Joyo, who was himself a victim of abduction and the president of Sindh Sujag Forum, alleged that the state had been killing Sindhis for a long time and leaving many of them being mutilated. The Counter Terrorism Department or CTD is actively working in both provinces of Sindh and Balochistan, and in Sindh, it has abducted young students, Joyo said.

Killing Hidayat is a mere test to gauge the waters, feel the sisters.

“Now, the state has a plan to start a Balochistan-like policy of kill-and-dump in Sindh,” Sorath said.

Sorath stated that it is a warning to all Sindhis that if someone like Hidayat, who was politically inactive, can be killed, then those who are active will also be at risk. 

Sasui was disappointed and said that she can only hope for international human rights organisations and UN to urge the Pakistani state to end extrajudicial killings in Sindh and Balochistan.

“I still do not understand why the state killed my father,” said Sasui. 

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