Pakistan: Human rights activist highlights failure of bodies formed by government on missing persons, calls it "eyewash"

While addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Mahrang Baloch noted that there is a huge difference in the number of missing persons given by the government and what they are reporting and termed it a complete collapse of law and order.


ANI | Updated: 15-06-2024 10:39 IST | Created: 15-06-2024 10:39 IST
Pakistan: Human rights activist highlights failure of bodies formed by government on missing persons, calls it "eyewash"
Baloch rights activist Mahrang Baloch (Image Credit: X/@MahrangBaloch_). Image Credit: ANI
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Human rights activist Mahrang Baloch of the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) highlighted on Thursday the failure of all commissions and committees formed by the Pakistan government to look into the cases of missing persons and enforced disappearances and called such efforts 'eyewash', Pakistan-based Dawn reported. While addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Mahrang Baloch noted that there is a huge difference in the number of missing persons given by the government and what they are reporting and termed it a complete collapse of law and order.

In response to a question during the press conference, Baloch said, "They are all eyewash. There is a huge difference in the numbers of missing persons given by the government and what we are reporting. There is a complete collapse of law and order when it comes to missing persons and enforced disappearances here." Mahrang Baloch said that the Baloch community has been living in a dire state for a long time and added that things have been getting from bad to worse for the people. The press conference was called to highlight the struggles of the Baloch community, according to Dawn report.

She said, "Things have been getting from bad to worse for the Baloch community. Last year, the Baloch Yakjehti Committee started a big campaign, where we marched from Turbat to Islamabad. In Islamabad we organised an extended sit-in and returning from there we also held a huge rally in Quetta." She stated that BYC, since its formation, has been working for the human rights and interests of the Baloch and stressed that they have remained peaceful throughout.

Mahrang Baloch said, "From the time of its formation, the BYC has been working for human rights and the interest of the Baloch. We have been peaceful throughout. We never behaved otherwise during our long march or our rallies. Then why are we being threatened and harassed? Our people are continuously being arrested under fake cases. We constantly face harsh treatment and torture at the hands of government agencies," Dawn reported. She announced that the BYC will continue its struggle despite so many wrongdoings against them, including torture, enforced disappearance and fake cases.

Baloch activist said, "So today, through this press conference, I want to make clear that despite so much wrongdoing against us, including torture, enforced disappearances, fake cases, threats, harassment, we will not back off from our work and our struggle. In fact, we have become stronger and will fight with more vigour and purpose for our cause." "We will carry on fighting for our rights. But in doing all this we will not forget that we are a responsible and aware movement. We are not playing politics here. Neither do we intend to do it in the future. Therefore, the state should stop pushing us into doing something that we do not intend to do," she added.

She said that they have informed all local and foreign human rights defenders, committees and journalists about what they are facing. She further said, "So, we ask the state to also behave as responsibly as we are behaving and respect the law and the Constitution." Speaking about the protest that they are planning to hold in the coming days, Mahrang Baloch said, "We are preparing for a Baloch national protest, the Baloch Raji Muchi, for which we are also in the process of preparing a booklet. We ask people from all Baloch areas to join our movement for this planned march, details of which will be shared later."

On being asked about the FIRs registered against BYC members, Baloch said that some 25 FIRs have been lodged against them, most of them have been registered in Balochistan, while some in Sindh and Karachi in particular, Dawn reported. When asked about joining the government, Mahrang Baloch said that Baloch wanted to be part of democracy. She said, "Our parliament should be based on civil democracy but currently it is a hostage. It drowns voices instead of raising voices."

Two brothers hailing from Barkhan were released and reunited with their families, following their abduction earlier this month, while three more persons have been allegedly forcibly disappeared from Turbat and Taunsa Sahrif areas of Pakistan's Balochistan, The Balochistan Post reported on June 11. Saeed Baloch and Hanif Baloch have returned home safely, The Balochistan Post reported. Hanif Baloch, a graduate with honours from the Department of Social Work at the Islamic University of Bahawalpur, was reportedly abducted on June 4 from his residence in Barkhan.

Soon after, his brother Saeed Baloch faced a similar fate, as he was allegedly detained by Pakistani forces, The Balochistan Post reported. These incidents led to protests by Baloch students. On June 9, Baloch rights activist Mahrang Baloch, while highlighting the issue of forced disappearances of Baloch students, said that Hanif Baloch, from Bhawalpur University, was forcibly disappeared from Barkhan.

Taking to X, Mahrang Baloch had stated, "Forced disappearances of Baloch students have intensified. Gold medalist Hanif Baloch from Bhawalpur University has been forcibly disappeared from his native Barkhan while his brother Saeed Baloch, a student of Punjab University, has gone missing after being summoned from Lahore and illegally detained." "Enforced disappearances are playing the role of a cancer for the Baloch society, swallowing our whole society, no person, home and area is safe from it and it is a dangerous form of Baloch genocide. Staying silent at home against Baloch genocide is not an option, rather we can stop it only through public resistance struggle," she added. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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