Islamabad: The families of people who disappeared from Balochistan ended a 10 day sit in near Pakistan’s Parliament in Islamabad on Saturday 20th February 2021. The sit in ended only after a minister from Pakistani Government have promised to look into the matter. The minister said they will look into the case files of their relatives.
To show the hurdles of minorities in Pakistan a Baloch based right wing group named Baloch Voice of Missing Persons also known as BVMP held a demonstration in Islamabad over the issue of their missing relatives. They allege that the people of Balochistan are being abducted by the state force and are being tortured and harassed.
On Tuesday 16th of February 2021 the protesters shouted against the Pakistani Establishment and demanded the recovery of their loved ones. During the protest in Islamabad one of the protesters said “I am a Baloch daughter. I don’t have any affiliation with political or social organisation. I have not come here from Balochistan to deliver a speech. I can’t afford to come to the capital of the country for no reason. Unfortunately, I belong to a generation which has witnessed not but atrocities but also troubled times. You must have heard about Bosnia and Palestine but I have seen Balochistan.” She also added “I have not come here to serve any agenda, I have come here as a victim. My brother and cousin have been missing for one year. Since 2001 ethnic cleansing is taking place in Balochistan. They have not even spared Sindhis and Pashtuns.”
The government of Pakistan on the other hand have always claimed that the missing people have joined hands with extremist groups. The officials also said that the individuals may either have been killed in fighting or may be still a fugitive at large.
Government of Pakistan made this statement in response to the protesters claims that the authorities have never organized a proper enquiry regarding the matter.
Nasrullah Baloch, leader of the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons organization said “We want rule of law in this country, and an end to forced disappearances,” he also adds “Those missing should be brought to court of law and innocents be freed,” he also said that that the government had assured him Prime Minister Imran Khan would meet a delegation from the group and give priority to the protesters’ relatives.
Human Rights Minister of Pakistan Dr. Shireern Mazari said that the government is committed to stop enforced disappearance of the people of Balochistan and is putting forward legislation to that effect.
Disappearances of People in Pakistan have been happening for a long time. Enforced disappearances have been a long issue on Pakistan’s human rights record. Although the government had took so many pledges to criminalize the practice there has been a very slow movement on legislation which is equal to nothing as people were still disappearing.
By Saumen Paul