Saira Baloch’s bold move to demand answers from Pak Army for enforced disappearances

Saira Baloch has taken a stand to demand answers
Saira Baloch (left), Mahgul and Mahliqa (right) (Photo - News Intervention)

In a courageous move, Saira Baloch has organised a three-day symbolic hunger strike camp in front of the Islamabad National Press Club. She has taken a stand to demand answers from the Pakistan Army and seek the recovery of her missing brothers, Rasheed and Asif Baloch. This move aims to shed light on the ongoing human rights violations in Balochistan. This act of bravery has resonated with supporters and families of the missing individuals.

Saira’s nieces, Mahgul and Mahliqa, joined her in a protest demanding the safe return of their missing fathers. The trio sits before the Islamabad press club, advocating for the safe return of their fathers who were forcibly disappeared in August 2018 by the Pakistan Army. This powerful act of solidarity shows the pain and suffering of families of the disappeared.

Adding to the movement, another campaign on Twitter took place on August 29. Its been a decade since Saeed Ahmed, son of Habibullah was forcefully disappeared. Initiatives as such are aimed to draw attention to the violence of Pakistan Army and highlight the pressing issue of missing persons and the need for justice in the terror-inflicted region of Pakistan-occupied-Balochistan.

Furthermore, in Karachi, on August 28, the Baloch Yekjeethi Committee (BYC) organised a protest rally to address the wave of abductions of Baloch people across various regions of Pakistan-occupied-Balochistan. The rally saw participation of hundreds, they joined in to condemned the crackdown by Rangers and Police on the families of Baloch missing persons.

Collaborating with the Baloch Solidarity Committee, pamphlets were distributed throughout Shall, urging the public to unite in the protest. The families of the missing individuals, already burdened by their loved ones’ forced disappearances are treated with utmost violence when they try to get answers from the authorities. 

The rising number of cases involving abducted Baloch individuals paints a grim picture of the inhumane conditions endured by the Baloch community in their own homeland. Pakistan, who is crippling with inflation and debt, still hasn’t tried to mend its way. Since, forcefully occupying the region of Balochistan in March 1948, Pakistan Army has committed innumerable atrocities. 

Reports of daily raids on homes, enforced disappearances, staged encounters, target killings, torture, humiliation at checkpoints, and even kidnappings for ransom by criminal elements is the heart-wrenching reality of Pakistan-occupied-Balochistan.

These protests and rallies as such is extremely important to voice their concern. Last year, on August 30th, to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) arranged a protest outside the local press club. Many supporters, activists and student groups joined the event to show their support. Following the illegal occupation of Balochistan in March 1948, Balochistan has been fighting the war of its existence. Be it the peaceful way of protests or the armed resistance, against the inhumane authoritarian quasi state of Pakistan, Balochs are fighting an all-front war.

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