Families of ‘missing persons’ spend Eid protesting on the roads

When the Muslim world was celebrating Eid-ul-Adha on Aug 1st, the families of the Baloch and Sindhi missing persons were protesting on the roads and streets for the recovery of their loved ones.

According to the details, the families of the Baloch missing persons traveled from different regions of Balochistan and organized a protest in Quetta for the recovery of their loved ones on Eid day. Under the auspice of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a rights group actively working for the recovery of the Baloch missing persons, the protesters launched a rally on the roads and streets of Quetta that culminated as demonstration in the front of the Quetta Press Club.

Mama Qadeer Baloch, the vice-chairman of the VBMP, was leading the protest. According to VBMP, at least 47 thousand Baloch citizens are forcefully disappeared by Pakistan army and intelligence agencies.

The families of the missing persons said that their loved ones are missing for years without any trace. We want to know if they are alive or dead so that we can find some solace, they said. The protesters said that the rulers and politicians can never understand their agony, as they have never suffered such pain. “They are wearing new clothes and celebrating Eid, meanwhile, we protest on the streets for our loved ones,” protestors said.

In Sindh, activist groups like the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh, Sindh Sabha and Sindh Sajagi Forum pitched a hunger-strike camp for the Sindhi missing persons. Sorth Lohar, Sandhu Amaan, Shazia Chandio, Inaam Abbasi and a few others are leading the strike.

Social reformists Zafar Junejo, Imdad Chandio, Prof. Riaz Ahmed, Naghma Shaikh, Nasir Mansoor and a few others participated in the strike. Asad Batt, the chairman of the Sindh branch of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, was also present at the strike.

The demonstrators said that the intelligence agencies are violating the Pakistani constitution by forcefully abducting and killing the Sindhi persons and then throwing their mutilated dead bodies at random locations. They said the forces are undermining the courts’ authority by executing “extrajudicial operations” throughout Sindh. The demonstrators said that the detainees must be produced in courts, and they should be allowed to defend themselves. If the forces operate outside the ambit of the courts and the constitution, then the common citizens are not obliged to follow them either.

The demonstrators said that if the perpetrators of enforced disappearances are more powerful than the Supreme Court and the parliament, then we appeal to the United Nations, Amnesty International and other global rights groups to take notice of the human rights violations in Sindh and Balochistan by the Pakistani state.

The leaders of the demonstration told the media that almost 70 political workers nationalists are missing from Sindh. They said they will soon summon an “all parties conference” of the social, political and human rights organizations in Sindh to address the enforced disappearances and lead our collective struggle in a more organized and powerful fashion.

As the families of the missing persons were protesting on the roads for the recovery of their loved ones, a Baloch woman was allegedly detained by the Pakistani forces in Awaran on Saturday. The woman was identified as Shalli d/o Talahoo. The forces reportedly exercised violence on the householders and forcefully detained Shalli. Many other women have been forcefully disappeared from different regions of Balochistan. Many of the detained women have been released, whereas a significant number are still missing

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