Sabeen Mahmud

May 2, 2015 Comments Off on Sabeen Mahmud
Sabeen Mahmud

Sabeen Mahmud was a passionate Pakistani Human Rights Activist who was brutally murdered in Karachi on 24th April by two gunmen on a motorbike. Here two extracts from two different sources are given to explain more about Sabeen’s personality and work.  People with a great cause don’t die.  Edit

Sabeen Mahmud

By Sana Rais

Sabeen Mahmud (@sabeen) was the President of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE ) in Karachi. She started PeaceNiche and one of its very first projects, T2F, which is also known as The Second Floor Café. T2F is a space for people to come together to partake in events and discussions revolving around activism, innovation, arts and culture.

She stated in an interview: “It is my biggest dream to change the world for better through internet, design and other communication technologies & T2F is a part of that dream.” PeaceNiche has several projects under its belt, and T2F is just one of them, which aims to find peaceful solutions to social problems through dialogue and debate and inspiring events.

Daily Times

Sabeen Mahmood:Another life passes by unnoticed

Shabeen Mahmud was the “voice of the voiceless”. She set up The Second Floor (T2F) as part of her non-profit umbrella called PeaceNiche of which T2F was her first major project in 2007. She said in an interview that her biggest dream was to change the world through the internet for the better and T2F was part of that dream. In a society dominated by males, she gave the philosophy of absolute fearlessness. She gave the people of Karachi the will to express their ideas. She was bold, she was fearless. Her rebellious nature was evident from the fact that the last seminar she hosted was titled “Unsilencing Balochistan (Take 2)”.

In April 2015, Lahore University of Management Sciences cancelled an event called “Unsilencing Balochistan” citing government’s pressure. So, Sabeen took it upon herself to host a panel discussion about the situation in Balochistan. Sabeen was joined by Mama Qadeer, Farzana Baloch, Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, Wusat Ullah Khan and Malik Siraj Akbar.

This march opened new avenues of discussion and debate around the issue of missing Baloch activists – some argued that the phenomenon did not exist before while others believed that there was a methodical shut down of news emanating from Balochistan. Some claimed sedition carried such punishments, others argued this was systematic murder of Baloch men and youth.

Despite the plurality of opinion, very little space seems to be given to the discussion in Pakistani mainstream media or academia; the debate seems to be shut down before it can even begin. What is the reality? Has the media been silenced on Balochistan? What makes it dangerous for us to talk about Pakistan’s largest province at one of our most celebrated universities? What constitutes national interest? Does Mama Qadeer represent separatists’ interests? What are the mechanics of reportage? Have human stories been shunned? What are the casualties on all sides? How does Chinese investment affect Balochistan and its people’s struggles?” Source (

Sabeen was shot down because she defied the odds; she was murdered because she raised the controversial issue of Balochistan; she was sprayed with bullets because she wanted to show the world the painful reality behind the case of the “missing persons”. The news of her death received widespread media coverage. People from all walks of life took to the streets and demanded the government to arrest the culprits. Then things went back to normal. News about target killings, rape and suicide attacks have become a part of our everyday lives. Sabeen’s brutal murder is just another example of what happens to the people who stand against cruelty and injustice.

By Manik Aftab


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