Massive anti-Pakistan protests held across Balochistan

Quetta (Balochistan): Slogans like “We want justice” and “Release all Baloch Missing Persons” echoed across Balochistan as a large number of women and children joined massive rallies against enforced disappearances in the Pakistani province on Monday.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, the protesters demanded the immediate release of hundreds of Baloch political activists, students and other intellectuals who had been illegally abducted by secret services and the Army in the past few months.

The family members of Baloch missing persons have been protesting for the past few months, but their voice is unheard by Islamabad. They demand enforced disappearances should be criminalised.

Among many women who have joined the protest for the safe release of their husband is Zarina Baloch, wife of Shabir Baloch. Zarina’s husband was abducted on 14 October 2016 and she has never heard of him again. She has traveled from Awaran to set up a protest camp in capital Quetta.

There are many such families who have been silently fighting for injustice. In Quetta, a large number of missing persons’ families were joined by civil rights and human rights activists to work for the safe recovery of Baloch missing persons.

Nasurallah Baloch, Chairman of Voice of Baloch Missing Persons said in his address, “Baloch women and children have been protesting since morning to evening for the safe recovery of their sons and brothers. Now, every Baloch must stand and give support to mothers and children. We want to tell those powerful officials and politicians as how the revolution will take birth in Balochistan”.

“I have high praise for our mothers and sisters who have come on streets to seek justice for their loved ones who are disappeared. The civil society activists and human rights organizations in Balochistan will stand with you,” said Nasrullah while announcing an indefinite protest for enforced disappeared persons.

Baloch human rights activist Mama Qadeer Baloch also joined the protest rally in Quetta and demand justice for innocent Baloch who have been languishing in illegal detention centers. It is believed many of these missing persons were killed and their mutilated bodies were thrown in isolated places by the secret agencies.

Balochistan is a resource-rich province of Pakistan, which the indigenous people claim to be forcefully occupied. The Baloch, who have been fighting for independence from Pakistan, are being targeted by secret agencies like the ISI and Military Intelligence. The people, who are generally targetted are the journalists, youth leaders, doctors, teachers and other intellectual people, who have been resisting against Islamabad.

The number of enforced disappearances and target killings has 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, in which China is investing huge money.