Quetta: Activists and family members of missing Baloch persons on Thursday carried out a major protest outside the Press Club here to seek justice for those who are forcefully abducted by secret agencies in the province.
Emotions were running high when Anssa Baloch, sister of Amir Baloch, an activist missing for the past two years, demanded his immediate release. Meanwhile, Mehr Gul Baloch fainted due to the grief of her sibling’s disappearance.
The protesters, mostly women, and children have been on hunger strike for almost a week, although the authorities have ignored their grievances. They also blamed the Pakistani media for not highlighting the issue of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, despite hundreds of people having gone missing in the past few years.
The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), who organized the protest, condemned the provincial government and said the government has kept a criminal silence on the issue.
Various leaders and activists, including the chairman of VBMP Nasrullah Baloch, Vice Chairman Mama Qadeer Baloch and family members of missing persons Shabeer Baloch, Ijaz Baloch, Aamir Baloch, Mehr Gul, addressed the participants at the protest.
The speakers said that the silence of authorities on the issue of missing persons’ case is condemnable, shameful and beyond comprehension. They demanded that the missing people should be produced before the courts if they have committed any crimes.
Balochistan is a resource-rich province of Pakistan, which the indigenous people claim to be forcefully occupied by the country. The Baloch people, who have been fighting for independence, are being targeted by secret agencies like the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other military intelligence agencies.
The target people are mostly journalists, youth leaders, doctors, teachers and other intellectual people, who have been active in the resistance against Islamabad.
The number of enforced disappearances and target killings have increased in Balochistan since China launched its multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the region. Balochistan’s Gwadar Port is the prime transit point, for which China is investing a huge amount of money.