Rampant human rights abuses in Pakistan go underreported
Series: Profiles in courage from Balochistan
This is the first part of a series of articles in which Jahanzeb Hussain interviews five important figures from Balochistan. The story of Balochistan is one of the most under-reported in the world. We are pleased to publish these all-too-rare and wide-ranging interviews in hope that the narrative from Balochistan reaches a wider audience.
Mama Qadeer, Farzana Majeed, Karima Baloch, Khalil Baloch, and Allah Nazar are names unfamiliar to most people in Pakistan, let alone the rest of the world.
Even for educated Pakistanis, Balochistan is mostly out of sight – mere rocks, sand, and the Chaghi Mountains, where Pakistan tested its nuclear bomb.
KARACHI: Today was day 7 of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons long March from Karachi and day 34 from Quetta to Islamabad. Now more famous on social media as #VBMPLongMarch, led by Qadeer Baloch, Farzana Majeed Baloch, Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur and several other relatives of abducted Baloch have started their march from Quetta on 27 October 2013 and arrived in Karachi on 23rd November. They rested in Karachi for few weeks and restarted walking on 13 December 2013.
They left from Pattan Colony area of Thatta region Thursday morning and reached to Sajawal city by the dusk.
Statement: Asian Human Rights Commission
Before reaching Karachi a car tried to ram the walkers on three occasions and the marchers are receiving death threat messages on their cell phones
The Long March for the Baloch missing persons has entered its 27th day after completing 690 KMs. It will reach its intended destination at the Karachi Press Club, Karachi, the capital of Sindh province tomorrow, November 22. Today the marchers will reach the suburbs of Karachi where the local people will welcome them and make arrangements for their accommodations.
There are no lights and indications about the one who had been taken away from the way to my house in 2009, that, if he will return one day or has already been perished. The face of a sister was declaring all such words. Where he is and how he would be? Her body language was asking these questions. Her two eyes, with full of tears and in each drop of that tear there was a message that “I am looking for my brother”.
by Saher Baloch
THAL, Nov 17: In scorching noon heat, around 25 people quietly walk on the RCD Highway, before stopping for a break at an open air cafe.
The families of the missing, who started their journey on foot on Oct 27, reached Utthal on Saturday, led by Mama Qadeer Baloch, vice-president of an advocacy group named Voice of Missing Baloch Persons (VoMBP). The families continued their journey on Sunday morning, as more people joined them on their way.
Since 2005, the Human Rights Commission has been paying special attention to the increasingly alarming human rights situation in Balochistan. The Commission has organized four fact-finding missions to the province, the reports of which have been widely disseminated. A special desk on missing persons has also been set up in Quetta that maintains data on enforced disappearances and killings.
However, it was after reading Mohammed Hanif’s account of his meeting with Qadeer Baloch in Dawn that the idea of a book came to me. Hanif’s conversation with Qadeer Baloch about the disappearance and killing of his son, Jaleel Reiki, was moving – and disturbing – in a way that statistics can never be. I knew that if HRCP were to publish a book about the missing in Balochistan, Hanif would be the writer to put the stories together. He was quick to agree and joined HRCP’s fact-finding mission to Balochistan in May 2012.