A rally was organized from Karachi Arts Council to Press Club on the call of Voice for Baloch Missing (VBMP) on the occasion of International Women’s Day in Karachi, the capital of Sindh.
Baloch Yekjethi Committee (BYC) Karachi strongly supported the rally, as did Awami Workers Party (AWP) and Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) who not only supported but as well as participated in it.
During International Women’s Day, rally participants expressed their opposition to centuries of oppression against women. In Pakistan today, Baloch women are the victims of state oppression and exploitation, now Baloch women are not safe even in homes, intersections, educational institutions, and workplaces.
Baloch women are being detained directly by Pakistani forces and false criminal cases are being filed against them. With state backing, Sardar (tribal chiefs) have set up their own death squads and built private prisons, where Baloch women and girls are being killed by physical violence. The Sardar has also been empowered by the government to take Baloch women hostage, and both the government and the Sardar are exploiting Baloch women.
On the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day, the participants stated that they strongly oppose the double standards held for women, that women should not be killed in the name of honor, or imprisoned in their homes under the guise of religious restrictions. The enlightened culture of Balochistan should not be distorted. They added that through this march, they have come out to raise their voices against all oppression that prevents women from their freedom and right to live.
The participants carried banners and placards in the march, with written phrases such as: “Give Baloch women the right to live”, “We condemn state repression and enforced disappearance of Baloch women” and “we condemn the brutal oppression, abuse, and exploitation of Baloch women, along with all oppressed women around the world”.
At the rally’s conclusion, Sammi Deen Baloch of VBMP gave a closing speech to the participants, saying that today they have come out for the rights of all oppressed and subjugated women around the world, including Baloch women. She also thanked everyone who took part.
Amna Baloch, the organizer of BYC Karachi, addressed the protest rally participants, saying that Baloch women are threatened not by men of their house, but by state oppression.
On this occasion, the mother of Rahim Zahri, she was disappeared forcibly by Pakistani forces, stated that she went missing along with her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren, while her son remains missing.
Among the relatives of missing persons, Rashid Hussain’s mother and Abdul Hameed Zahri’s daughter Saeeda Hameed also addressed the rally.
The participants of the rally were also addressed by Mahm from Aurat March, Princess Rai from Transgender Community, Sher Khan from PTM, Akhtar Hussain Advocate from AWP, and Gulzar Dost from Balochistan Civil Society.
Women are victims of oppression in every society, according to rally participants. Today, Baloch women come out on the streets to cry because many of them have had their husbands, brothers, or sons disappeared forcibly by state forces. Because of a person’s forced disappearance, his entire family, including his mother, wife, sister, and daughters, is subjected to torture, which falls under the category of women’s oppression and cruelty.
Finally, rally participants demanded the release of Mahal Baloch, who was illegally detained by Pakistani forces in Quetta last month, and urged international and local women’s rights organizations to take notice of Pakistani state oppression of Baloch women and take strict action to put an end to it.
Source: The Balochistan Post