Three years after his abduction, Zahid Baloch is still missing.
Dear members of the press,
Thank you for joining us today in this briefing on Balochistan and human rights. My name is Karima Mehrab and I am the Chairperson of Baloch Students Organization-Azad (BSO-A). Formed in 1967, the BSO has campaigned for education, development of Balochi as mother language and medium of instruction, and the political rights of the Baloch people in the Pakistan-occupied Balochistan.
Ottawa, March 18, 2016: Baloch Canadians heeding to the call of Baloch Students Organization –Azad began arriving in Ottawa today on a cold March morning to commemorate the 2 years of enforced disappearance of Zahid Baloch, former chairman, BSO-Azad.
Karima Baloch, chairperson, BSO-Azad stated that the protest at the Canadian Parliament, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is to inform the world that China and Pakistan are partners in the crimes against humanity in Balochistan. Thousands of Baloch have been massacred by the Pakistani army to fulfill the ambitious dreams of Chinese control of the deep seaport of Gwadar and access to the strategic waters of Strait of Hormuz.
Toronto, March 17, 2016: Baloch Students Organization-Azad chapter in Canada has announced here that the organization will be holding protest rallies in Ottawa, the Canadian capital to bring awareness to the people and the country’s law makers about the gross human rights abuses in Balochistan by the Pakistani army and its intelligence agencies.
BSO-Azad will be commemorating the 2-year unlawful arrest and disappearance of their former chairman Zahid Baloch who was enforced disappeared from Quetta, Balochistan on March 18, 2014. The organization’s current Chairperson Karima Baloch will be leading the rally in Ottawa on March 18, 2016 outside the Canadian Parliament and will hand over a memorandum to the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
BALOCHISTAN: The Central Spokesperson of Baloch Student Organization- Azad (BSO-A) revealed in a statement that BSO-A had been registered as an organization under Federal Law governing Non-profit organizations in Canada.
He further stated that the registration was the fruit of hard work put together under the direct supervision of Banuk Karima Baloch and Latif Johar helped by several supporters of the organization. He asserted that the registration demonstrated the Canadian government recognition of the importance of BSO-A to carry out its activities freely and peacefully on its soil to highlight the Baloch Cause across the world. It also defied the Pakistani government efforts to eradicate BSO by banning it to carry out peaceful and democratic activities in the support of a free and independent Balochistan.
“Those in Palestine are Muslim brothers, but he is not?” she says, disillusioned, pointing at Zahid’s picture.
By Mina Sohail
RAIN from earlier in the day had provided some respite from the intense heat. The air smells of damp grass. The turf outside the National Press Club in the capital is expansive and a camp easy to spot. Three women inside, with no fan or water, fully veiled, seem unperturbed by the heat. One of them fidgets with her chador but looks intently into the camera, speaking confidently though her voice is inaudible to me.
She is Zarjan, wife of Zahid Baloch, the chairman of the Baloch Students’ Organisation (Azad), who was kidnapped on March 18 this year from Satellite Town in Quetta. Posters and banners show close-ups of Zahid’s face. His wife says he’s 27 years old. But his grim, solemn face makes him seem years older.