A number of metropolitan cities witnessed demonstrations what the organisers termed protest to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The Free Balochistan Movement on Sunday held a protest against Pakistan outside the official residence of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.
Several Baloch and other human rights activists joined the protest from different cities of the UK and expressed their support for the families of those who have been allegedly disappeared. The protestors were carrying banners and raised slogans against Pakistan military’s atrocities against Baloch people. They demanded the immediate release of previously abducted Baloch people and stopping of more enforced disappearances.
They also urged the international community, including the UK, to stop supporting Pakistan as their support is allowing Pakistan to commit more crimes against humanity. The activists claimed that thousands of innocent Baloch people have been arrested and later disappeared. Many of them have been killed in custody. They also strongly condemned the recent murder of Hayat Baloch, who was shot dead by a soldier of Frontier Corps in front of his parents, in Turbat, Balochistan.
“On International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, we are staging a protest outside Boris Johnson’s residence. Pakistani forces are committing human rights abuses against Baloch people. We appeal to the international community to take note of what is happening in Balochistan,” said an activist.
“We saw how a woman named Malik Naz was killed in front of her four-year-old daughter Bramsh. A 12-year-old girl was also killed. These things were not coming to light earlier due to blackout. But now, the news on atrocities committed by Pakistani military is there on social media and people are coming to know about it,” she added.
The activist appealed that a fact-finding mission should be sent in this regard and said the UK Prime Minister should take cognisance of the human rights abuses in Balochistan.
Meanwhile, the Sindhi Baloch Forum held a protest against the Pakistan government in front of the UK Parliament in London on Sunday. The protestors, who wore masks and adhered to social distancing norms due to COVID-19 pandemic, raised slogans against the government what they called for its failure to protect the Baloch and Sindhis from atrocities.
Dr.Hidayat Bhutto, the UK and Europe organiser of the World Sindhi Congress, said that human rights abuses against Sindhis and Balochs amount to crime against humanity.”We want to tell the UK government that they should not turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s atrocities against the Baloch and Sindhi people. We press on Pakistan to stop the practice of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. We want justice for the victims. The way Hayat Baloch was killed, this is a routine thing. We are demanding our right to self-determination and we will continue fighting for our rights,” he stated.
Echoing similar sentiments, a woman activist participating in the protest said that ‘they’ will pay a heavy price if they do not stop committing crimes against the Sindhi and Baloch communities.
“For the past several years, injustice has been meted out against Sindhis and Baloch. The enforced disappearing of people and torture should stop. You are committing crimes against Sindhi youth, why do you fear them? What do you want from them? If you do not stop these atrocities, you will pay a heavy price. We demand the immediate release of those people who have been disappeared,” she said.
Another activist stated that the situation is getting worse day by day. “Hardly a day passes by where you do not hear the news of missing persons. It is happening throughout the year,” he said. They also urged the international community, including the UK, to stop supporting Pakistan as this is allowing Islamabad to commit more crimes against humanity.
Demo in New York
On this day (International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances), scores of people protested outside the Pakistan consulate in New York against the forceful abductions of people from the minority communities. “Today, we are here to protest against all those disappearances which have been enforced for a long time. There are thousands of people including politicians, political workers and journalists who have been forcefully disappeared,” said Najeeb Khan, a Pashtun who lives in Balochistan.
“We are here at the Pakistan consulate to raise our voice. We want the world to know that Pakistan has become a huge prison for minority religions today,” he added during the protest on Sunday
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Declaration for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance,s and the 10th anniversary of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons against Enforced Disappearances.
Meanwhile, another protestor outside the Pakistan consulate said that for the past two decades, Pakistan has been committing atrocities on the minority communities and the cases have been increasing rapidly.
“Before it was Balochistan, but now they have started in other regions of Pakistan. One of the major problems that we are facing is that we don’t have any access to information about the enforced disappearance happening in Pakistan,” he added.
Demo in Toronto
Members of Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun organisations staged a protest on Sunday in Toronto to mark the ‘International Day of Victims of Forced Disappearances’, demanding the United Nations and international community to press Pakistan to end forced disappearances, enforced conversion to Islam and extrajudicial killings.
The leaders and members of Baloch National Movement, Canada Pashtun Council, Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement and World Sindhi Congress gathered in downtown Toronto and raised provocative slogans against Pakistan Army and intelligence agency ISI.
The protestors urged the Canadian government to pressurise Pakistan for reinstating human rights for Baloch, Sindhis, Mohajirs and Pashtuns. They held banners that read ‘stop Baloch genocide’ and ‘stop enforced disappearances in Balochistan’.
The demonstrators met with “Free Hong Kong” protestors and together they raised slogans against Pakistan and China.
An activist said, “We have gathered here on the day of International Day of Forced Disappearances to protest against enforced disappearances. This has destroyed our lives and it’s affecting the present generation and will continue to impact the future generation as well. This practice will continue until terrorist state Pakistan exists on the map. We demand the international community to take note of the human rights abuses committed by Pakistan and put an end to enforced disappearances.”
Echoing similar sentiments, another activist said, “China is equally involved in war crimes in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan, like the Pakistan Army and its intelligence service. The People’s Liberation Army of China, Pakistan Army and its intelligence service are equally guilty for the war crimes in Pakistan.”
On the occasion of the international day against enforced disappearances, Baloch activist BrahumdaghBugti said today is a reminder that international community will do nothing and no single country will act unless they have their own interest.
“On the international day against enforced disappearances today is reminder that the international community will do nothing, no single country will act unless they have their own interest. Silence means endorsement and neutrality means I always supported and will support powerful,” Bugti said in a tweet.
A large number of Baloch people, including political activists, journalists and other intellectuals have been victims of enforced disappearance in the Balochistan province.
In Frankfurt (Germany),Shafi Burfat, the chairman of Jeay Sindh MuttahidaMahaz (JSMM) on the International Day of the Missing Persons said that it’s a common practice for agencies to abduct a 16-year-old boy Aqib Chandio to 70 years old Sain Bachal Shah. Historic nations in Pakistan are subject to worst subjugation, violence, and Holocaust while political activists are enduring worst state torture and terrorism.
Burfat whois living in exile in Germany said; “People go missing because of various reasons but most prominent of them is the state inflicted enforced disappearances. In various countries of the world, the enforced disappearances are subject to different government policies but particularly in China and Pakistan thousands of the people mainly political activists belonging to the oppressed historic nations have been abducted and enforced disappeared by the states’ spy agencies on dissenting against the oppressive policies of these governments and resisting the imperial occupation of their lands and resources by these rogue imperialist states”.
The reasons for these disappearances are purely political, he added. He claimed;”Just like China is brutally subjecting Uyghurs to worst psychological and physical torture in the concentration camps; Punjab is also repeating the same state terrorism, barbarism, and torture against Sindhi and Baloch youth.”
He added, “The UNO and international community must take a serious note of the Chinese and Pakistani crimes against humanity. This is a tragedy that secular political Sindhi and Baloch national movements for freedom are proscribed by Pakistani fascist state while extremist terrorist Islamist organizations are being sponsored by the Pakistani state.” (ANI)