Balochs mark 14 yrs of Baloch student leader Zakir M Baloch’s abduction by Pak regime

14 years of enforced disappearance
Enforced disappearance camp (Photo: News Intervention)

On the completion of 14 years of the enforced disappearance of Baloch student leader Zakir Majeed Baloch, a symbolic hunger strike camp was organized in front of the Karachi Press Club. Relatives of missing persons, along with political, social, and human rights activists, participated in the one-day token hunger strike camp.

The participants sitting at the Karachi protest expressed that the story of enforced disappearances in Balochistan is long, and every day more people are being made to disappear. Our aim is to make our voice reach influential circles so that we can tell them how our loved ones have been forcibly taken away through illegal and inhumane treatment. We will continue to raise our voice against it.

During the Karachi protest, the relatives of missing persons, including Dr. Deen Muhammad’s daughter and Vice Chairperson of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) Sammi Deen Baloch, Mahlab Deen Baloch, who was forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces in 2016, Rashed Hussain Baloch, who was transferred from the United Arab Emirates after enforced disappearance, and Saeeda Hamid, daughter of abducted Abdul Hamid Zahri by Sindh Police and intelligence agencies in Karachi in 2021, participated.

During this time, members of various Baloch organizations, including the Baloch Unity Committee, activists of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, and people from different ideological backgrounds, expressed solidarity with the relatives of enforced disappeared persons in the hunger strike camp and rally.

The participants at the camp condemned the series of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, which has been ongoing for more than two decades, and now security forces are also targeting Baloch women and children. They demanded that the government and institutions respect the law, present the missing persons in courts, and ensure the recovery of the missing persons within the ambit of law and constitution.

“They said the purpose of this day is to remember the captive leader Zakir Majeed and other missing persons who have been imprisoned in dark cells for years. We can feel the pain of the long wait by the relatives of missing persons, including Zakir Majeed’s mother. Our demand is to release Baloch political prisoners and end the series of enforced disappearances” they said.

Speaking on this occasion, the sister of missing Shabir Baloch, Samea Baloch, said that brothers are more than brothers for sisters, and if a sister is older, the brother is the first child who is more dear than life. Shabir’s abduction and arrest took place in 2016, and despite thousands of bad news, I know that he will return and come back alive.

She said, “My children, like Samea and Mahlab, are growing up in the camps of Missing Persons and in protest rallies. When Shabir was taken away in 2016, I was scared even in press conferences and protests, but today, me, my children, and other families can look fearlessly into the eyes of those criminals.”

Saeeda Hamid, the daughter of abducted Abdul Hamid Zahri, said, “My father is the sole guarantor of our house. All my brothers and sisters are younger, and often they ask about father’s return. Our demand is that we do not further harm the future of our children. The Sindh government, including the police, was involved in the enforced disappearance of my father Abdul Hamid. The Sindh government and the Chief Minister of Sindh should ensure the immediate recovery of my father Abdul Hamid.

The mother of Rashed Hussain, a missing Baloch activist, participated in the protests in Karachi, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and later in Pakistan. She stated that her son was not allowed to live peacefully in Pakistan for the past five years, and when he managed to escape to another country to save his life, he was targeted there as well. She demanded that if her son is a criminal, he should be presented in court and his crime should be proven; otherwise, they should be saved from further agony.

The mother of Rashed Hussain also mentioned that the country’s Interior Minister had revealed that Rashed had been transferred to Pakistan. If her son has been brought to Pakistan, she questioned where he is and in what confinement he is being held. She demanded that her son be brought into the public eye.

Meanwhile, just like Karachi, a seminar against enforced disappearances was also held in Quetta by Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and Zakir Majid Baloch’s family.

In 2016, the Balochistan Student Organization-Azad had announced that every year on 8 June the day of enforced disappearances, protests would be held across Balochistan. On this day, families of forcibly disappeared individuals and human rights organizations protest in front of press clubs throughout Balochistan, demanding the recovery of their loved ones from powerful groups and the Pakistan Army.

On this day, various Baloch social media activists, including Twitter and other social platforms, ran a campaign against enforced disappearances, demanding the recovery of missing persons.

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