Eid is Muslims’ religious festival to celebrate it happily and wish others happiness and peace on this auspicious occasion. While the Muslim world and most of the Pakistanis were rejoicing Eid day with their relatives, a number of Baloch families including children, women, elderly and young gathered in Quetta to carryout rallies against the enforced disappearances of their loved ones.
Led by the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), the protesters marched through different roads of the city and later staged a demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club demanding the safe release of disappeared Baloch people.
It is worth mentioning that for the past five years, the families of abducted Balochs have been protesting every year on Eid days to express their concerns over abduction and custodial killings allegedly by the state security forces and intelligence agencies.
According to Mama Qadeer Baloch, vice president of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), they protest to gain attention of the world community towards the tragic deterioration of state of affairs in Balochistan.
According VBMP, a human rights organization struggling for the safe release of Baloch missing persons, the number of missing persons is more than 15,000. Also more than 1600 decomposed and bullet-riddled dead bodies of the missing persons have been recovered in different areas of Balochistn. The number of recovered bodies from Tutak mass graves is aside from the above mentioned figure.
Previously, the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons’ leadership provided the data of missing persons to UN working group that visited Quetta in 2012. The same organization also held historic long march from Quetta to Islamabad to highlight the predicament of this humanitarian crisis. So far the five years long protest camp of VBMP for missing Baloch has not been able to make state soften its policies towards the abduction, torture and killing of Baloch people. They have been appealing to the United Nations, the European Union, Amnesty International and other humanitarian organizations for taking notice of the enforced disappearances. VBMP is not satisfied with the response of international human rights organizations.
Though the abduct-kill-dump policy by the state was launched during General Pervez Musharraf’s military regime, it is still continuing unabated during the democratic regimes. The provincial government of Dr. Malik Baloch also seems stranded in this regard. Despite Dr Malik’s claims on the opposite, he and his ruling party have not been able to change the mindset of state policymakers on the issue of Baloch genocide. It is high time for the responsible authorities and champions of human rights to take serious measures for the safe release of Baloch political activists, teachers, doctors, and lawyers so that ways can be made for talks with the Baloch nationalists.