Pakistan: Protest against enforced disappearance continues in Quetta

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A protest camp by ‘Voice for Baloch Missing Persons’ against forced disappearances, continued for the 5326th day in front of Quetta Press Club on Tuesday, Balochistan Post reported.

Political and social workers from Sabi, Rehmatullah Selachi, Noor Shah Khajak and people from other schools of thought came and expressed solidarity at the protest.

Mamaqadir Baloch, the vice chairman of the organization, said, “Balochistan is irrigated with the blood of Baloch martyrs”. He added that they have created an eternal history by defeating these false forces with a “peaceful struggle”.

Mamaqadir Baloch said that he endured the worst military brutality of the state like prisons, jails, executions, forced abductions, mutilated corpses and throwing people away with ‘manliness’.

Another protestor, Mama Qadeer Baloch said that the sacrifice of Baloch youth workers for their survival is present from the educational institutions to the streets of the village, adding that across the whole region, nothing is visible other than the military checkpoints.

He alleged that the relatives of the organization are being accused of “state terrorism”, and Baloch youth, women, children, and elderly, the relatives of activists were “targeted selectively”.

Hitting out at the Pakistan government, he said that the “veil of decency” has been removed from the “rotten wall of the so-called democracy.”

Recently, Pakistan witnessed a long march organised by the Baloch Yakjehti Committee against the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of Baloch people. On December 6, 2023, the families of victims and Baloch activists began their march from Balochistan’s Turbat towards Islamabad.

However, the Pakistani state and its security forces made an effort to stop the march at different places. This was done by using a variety of tactics, such as roadblocks, harassment, and direct use of force and violence by Police.

After holding a sit-in for over two months outside the National Press Club in Islamabad, the activists decided to return to their homes in Balochistan under the leadership of Mahrang Baloch.

The Pakistan government has been accused of employing force against relatives of missing persons and engaging in political vendettas.

The Interim Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar has openly opposed demonstrations by families of the forcibly disappeared and has accused journalists, writers, and civil society advocates supporting these causes of being linked to the Baloch armed struggle, as reported by Balochistan Post.

The Baloch Yakjehti Committee and other rights organizations alleged that Pakistan’s military institutions are behind the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of innocent people in Balochistan and the state’s mainstream parties, government, judiciary, and media are backing these crimes, Dawn reported.

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