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Pakistan: Balochs to protest against enforced disappearances in Quetta


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A demonstration against the enforced disappearance of Balochs will be organized on 08 Jun 2022 at Quetta Press Club. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) said that June 8 marks the 14th anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Zakir Majeed Baloch.

It has been 14 years since Baloch student leader Zakir Majeed Baloch was forcibly kidnapped and ‘disappeared’ by the Pakistani security forces. Zakir Majeed’s family will hold a protest in front of Quetta Press Club today against his long enforced disappearance, reported VBMP.

Baloch students, no matter whether they are in Balochistan or any other part of Pakistan, always live in the fear of being abducted, tortured, and killed. They cannot roam around freely or take part in normal activities like other students. Most of the time Baloch people become part of the struggle not because of a choice but because of the deprivation, oppression, and brutal policies of the deep state.

Pakistani forces may have been successful in banning the Baloch political parties on fake charges but they have not been successful in ending the Baloch resistance. The people’s resistance is still ongoing and it is getting more powerful day by day. Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court has ordered the government to issue notices to all past executives from former president Pervez Musharraf to current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to explain what the court described as “undeclared tacit approval of the policy regarding enforced disappearances.”

The defence forces in Pakistan are widely accused of being responsible for the ‘disappearance’ of an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 persons, however, the exclusion of the military from the notice highlights its alleged role in the political turmoil of Pakistan. As per a local media report, the activists from Balochistan province are high on the list of the ‘missing’. Baloch ‘nationalists’, forming many groups, have been fighting the state to oppose curbs on civil rights and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects that they say deprive Balochs of natural resources while giving few jobs.

According to Amnesty International, the commission received 3,000 cases of such disappearances. By 2021, the Commission reported that it has received 7,000 cases of forced disappearance since its inception and it has resolved around 5,000 of those cases. The issue of forced disappearance in Pakistan originated during the Musharraf era (1999 to 2008), but the practice continued during subsequent governments.

Human rights activists allege that the law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are responsible for the cases of forced disappearance in Pakistan. Enforced disappearances are used as a tool by Pakistani authorities to terrorize people who question the all-powerful army establishment of the country, or seek individual or social rights. Cases of enforced disappearances have been majorly recorded in the Balochistan and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces of the country which host active separatist movements.

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