Rally demands release of Baloch missing persons

ISLAMABAD (PPI) – In order to express their solidarity, the relatives of Baloch missing persons held a protest rally on Saturday against detention and disappearance their kins allegedly by the security forces and demanded the immediate release of thousands of Baloch activists.

The rally was started from National Press Club and culminated in-front of parliament house. Dozens of political activists, students also took part in the rally. It was organized by the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a non-partisan organization that has been struggling for more than 2 years to call attention to the disappearances and kidnappings as well as gruesome target killings of Baloch. The protesters were carrying pictures of disappeared people and chanted slogans against state terrorism, the unaccountable security agencies and the lack of political will of elected representatives. A large number of women and children also participated in the rally, the majority of whom are mothers and sisters of disappeared activists.

Speaking at the occasion, VBMP chairperson Nasrullah Baloch said that time and again political leaders had acknowledged the historical injustices that have been meted out to the Baloch people and made promises to redress these injustices. But on each such occasion state repression has become more acute and alienated the Baloch people. He said that over the past six months a new trend has been established whereby kidnapped Baloch are being ‘returned’ to their loved ones with their bodies desecrated beyond recognition. Nasrullah Baloch warned that such gruesome acts cannot help in establish peace in Balochistan.

Farzana Bibi – who is the sister of missing Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) chairperson Zakir Majeed – noted that state policy on Balochistan is made by the military establishment, and lamented that the elected parliament is helpless in putting an end to state repression. She said that if the situation in Balochistan continues to deteriorate then the thousands of families whose loved ones have been abducted will be forced to call the attention of the international community to the abuses of the Pakistani state. Speaking on the occasion Aasim Sajjad of the Worker’s Party Pakistan (WPP) said that it is the responsibility of all progressive forces outside Balochistan to stand with the Baloch people in this time of great oppression. This is the only way that the state can be held to account for its actions and if this does not happen then the struggles of Pakistan’s various nationalities as well as the oppressed classes will never be brought together.

Aasim Sajjad also warned the lessons of the secession of the eastern wing have yet to be learnt and if the establishment believes that it can suppress the Baloch people and their demand for equality and dignity within the federation just as it though it could do with the Bengali people then it will surely be proven wrong. Others who were present on the occasion to express solidarity with the VBMP were Alia Amirali of the National Students Federation, Waleed Babbar of the JKPNP and Nisar Shah of the Labour Party Pakistan. On this occasion a number of other members of the VBMP delegation also spoke.


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[via The Nation]

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