Scores of women and children rallied in Quetta on Eidul Azha to protest against the practice of enforced disappearances in Balochistan and appealed to the world community, particularly the United Nations and International Humanitarian Organisations, to play their role in ending the man-made humanitarian disaster in the province.
Voice For Baloch Missing Persons (VFBMP), an organisation striving for the immediate recovery of the Baloch missing persons, took out rally from hunger strike camp outside the Quetta Press Club and marched through different roads and streets of the provincial capital.
About 50 women and children participated in the rally holding placards and portraits of their loved ones. The protesters staged a sit-in at Meezan Chowk which is the busiest intersection in Quetta. “We are not celebrating Eid because all I want is my brother to get back home,” said sister of Zakir Majeed, a nationalist leader who was listed missing about two years ago.
Addressing the protesters, Chairman for VFBMP Nasarullah Baloch said that neither the judiciary nor the government has made any serious effort to release a single missing person.
“The issue of enforced disappearances is going unnoticed, thus we are on the roads. It has been almost one and half years that relatives are on strike but to no avail,” he said, adding that National Crisis Management Cell is backing the government and its functionaries instead of taking steps to address the concerns or raise the voice.
The VFBMP announced that they will soon march to Islamabad where they will hold protest demonstrations outside the offices of United Nations and International Humanitarian Organisations.“Our apprehensions have come true that all missing political opponents are subjected to brutal torture as the mutilated and bullet-ridden bodies are turning up every day,” said sister of Jalil Reki, Central Information Secretary of Baloch Republican Party (BRP). “It seems that the judiciary and government had condoned the killing of Baloch people as they do not bother to ask why mutilated bodies are being dumped on a daily basis and who is behind this massacre.”
According to VFBMP, as many as 230 bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons have so far been found dumped in desolated places of Balochistan.
Nasrullah said that most of the women had come from far-flung areas only to draw the attention of Humanitarian organisations of the world. “The victims belonged to poor families and are merely political workers or had affiliation with nationalist parties,” Nasrullah said who puts the figure of missing persons to around 14,000. He said his organization has complete details of 1,300 Baloch missing persons.