Enforced-disappearance in Balochistan: VBMP announces long march from Quetta to Karachi

Photo showing ongoing hunger strike in Balochistan, August 11, 2013. The strike’s leader, Mama Qadeer, sits in the middle. He is the father of a student activist, Jalil Reki Baloch, who was abducted and killed. Mama Qadeer stays in his tent all day, everyday, only eating at night. He attracts followers, who come and go.

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons announced on Thursday that they are shifting their protest camp from Quetta to Karachi. They also revealed that they will be marching from Quetta to Karachi to record their protest and draw the attention of world towards the plight of abducted Baloch activists.

VBMP chairman Nasrullah Baloch, Vice chairman Abdul Qadeer Baloch and family members of enforced-disappeared persons made this announcement during a press release at Quetta Press Club.

They further said the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has played an important role to highlight the issue of abductions and kill and dump of Baloch political and human rights activists by Pakistani security agencies. “Several loved ones of VBMP members along with thousands of other Baloch are currently languishing in torture cells and hundreds have been killed under-custody,” said the VBMP.

According the press release, government agencies have tried different methods including life threats and offering bribe to either scare or buy off the organisation – Voice for Baloch Missing Persons – but the organisation was determined to continue its struggle to seek peace of mind and justice.

In a joint press conference the VBMP leaders said: “This organisation – Voice for Baloch Missing Persons – has been democratically protesting from past four years but this time we are changing the medium of our protest as we will have a long march from Quetta to Karachi. We are wrapping up our protest from Quetta Press Club on 24, October 2013 and on 26 October we will start off our march. We will be accompanied by several relatives, including females, of abducted Baloch activists.”

The VBMP warned that if anything happened to them on their way to Karachi they will hold the provincial government of Dr Malik responsible for that. They further said that during their 1311 days of protest the federal government and the Supreme Court of Pakistan have failed to discover enforced-disappeared Baloch activists. They added that: “It is our democratic right to record our protest in any manner we want.”

They said few months ago the family of abducted Baloch student Zakir Majeed Baloch threatened self-immolation because they were fed up of the silence of Supreme Court and the international Human Rights Organisations; however, their friends and well-wishers have managed to stop them from taking this extreme step.

The VBMP has urged the federal and provincial governments and the Supreme Court to take security measures for their long march and if anyone is harmed during the peaceful march, central and provincial government will be held accountable.

Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has also appealed the international media, human rights organisations and the United Nations to pressurise Pakistan to stop the on-going human rights violations in Balochistan. VBMP said: “The media must play their objective role and give coverage to our long march from Quetta to Karachi.”

[Courtesy: Baloch Warna]

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