Balochistan: Protests Continue Against Enforced Disappearances

Family members in Quetta continue to rally for the return of their relatives, the victims of enforced disappearances.

Below is an article published by Balochwarna News:

The relatives of enforced-disappeared Baloch activists continued their protest even on the holy Day of Eid and took out a protest rally for the safe recovery of their loved ones in Quetta city.

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, an organisation striving for safe release of abducted Baloch, had given the call for protest rally.

The rally passed from different streets in Quetta before holding a demonstration outside the Press Club. A large number of women and children took part in rally; they were carrying the pictures of their enforced-disappeared loved ones.

Mohammad Qazim a journalist from Quetta quoted eight year old Nazia as saying, “Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid at their homes but ‘come and see me!’ I have not coloured my hand with Hinna like other children and neither am I wearing new clothes. Because My brother Zafarullah is missing from past two and half years and I do not know about his condition.”

Baloch political parties and the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons say that thousands of Baloch have been enforced-disappeared by Pakistan’s security agencies since 2000 after ex Pakistani dictator Musharraf declared war in Balochistan and the first phase of the current Baloch struggle started.

Abdul Qadeer Baloch, the vice chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, told media that, “Since 2000 at least 14,400 Baloch have been forcefully disappeared by Pakistani security agencies. Five hundred and fifty people among them have been killed in custody and dumped away whereas around four hundred people have been target killed. Nowadays they do not arrest but directly target and kill people.” It must be noted that Abdul Qadeer Baloch’s son Jalil Reki was also abducted and later his mutilated and tortured body was found dumped.

People from far flung areas of Balochistan also had come to join the protest rally in Quetta. One such person was a Baloch woman from Kech – 700km away from Quetta – who instead of celebrating Eid travelled all way to participate in the protest to highlight the illegal arrest of her grandfather Munshi Mohammad Bakhsh Baloch. Mr. Baloch, a 75-year-old farmer, resident of Kallag Sami, Tehsil Turbat, district Kech, Balochistan, was offloaded from a passenger vehicle at Jasuk FC check post on June, 20 this year.

The Home Minister of Balochistan, however, said that the number of abducted Baloch is only 98 but when the Supreme Court of Pakistan started to hear the cases of abducted Baloch in Quetta – over one hundred and fifty cases were registered in first three days.

It is also pertinent to mention that most Baloch families have boycotted the Supreme Court hearings saying that they do not expect any justice from Pakistani judiciary. They demand from the UN and other international human rights organisations to independently investigate the cases of enforced-disappearances in Balochistan.

The participants of the rally appealed to the international Human Rights Organisations to take notice of the enforced-disappearances in Balochistan.

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