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ANP demands immediate release of missing persons

MARDAN: Awami National Party (ANP) senior vice-president Ameer Haider Hoti on Monday demanded from the state to immediately release the missing person or present them before the court if involved in any case.

He expressed these views while addressing to a protest meeting arranged in connection of the missing ANP Balocistan spokesman Asad Khan Achakzai, Gohar Ali of Muslimabad Mardan and other missing persons outside Mardan press club. ANP district general secretary Haroon Khan, information secretary Jamal Nasir, Javeed Yousafzai, Abass Sani and other officer bearers and large numbers of Awami National Party (ANP) workers participated in the protest rally. Ameer Haider Hoti said that there is law in our country and if there are any shortcomings and weaknesses in the court and law, they should be addressed.

ISLAMABAD: Iftikhar Hussain and other leaders address familities of missing people of Balochistan outside the National Press Club in Islamabad on Monday, 23rd February, 2021.

He said that this decision cannot be made by space creatures (Khalaei Makhlooq) but by the courts in accordance with the constitution and laws.

He added that the families of missing persons are in great shock and pain. Haider Hoti added that today ANP has arranged protest rally throughout Pakistan for the release of missing persons.

He added that Imran Khan is selected prime minister therefore he demanded the state that immediately release the missing person or present them before court if they are involved in any crime. Later on the protester dispersed peacefully.

Protest ends

Protesters calling for an end to enforced disappearances in Balochistan ended a week-long sit-in in the capital on Monday, after an assurance that Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet them next month.

“We don’t have any big hopes from this government, but the way they have reassured us, we also have decided to give them a chance,” Sammi Baloch, who has been searching for her father Deen Muhammad since 2009, told Reuters.

ISLAMABAD: Families of missing people of Balochistan demonstrating for their loved one outside National Press Club in Islamabad on Monday, 23rd February 2021.

She and other families have protested across the country for years to little avail. The Islamabad protesters — 10 families of missing men and around a hundred supporters — said they will return if assurances are not met.

Security officials say many of Balochistan’s so-called disappeared have links to separatists. But actual court punishments have been rare.

Reuters news agency say that the Pakistan Army and human rights ministry did not respond to its requests for comment for this story, including questions about specific family members sought by the protesters.

For one week, protesters held up photos of missing relatives under the watchful eyes of police surrounding them. Among them was 60-year-old Baz Khatoon, who clutched a stack of news reports and court filings about her son, Rashid Hussain Brohi. She believes he was detained in Dubai in December 2018, was flown to Pakistan six months later, and then vanished without a trace.

ISLAMABAD: Grieved families of missing people of Balochistan demonstrating at the D-Chowk in Islamabad.

Khatoon said her son moved to Dubai to be safe in 2017 after three male relatives, including his father, had turned up dead after being taken away by security forces over the years.

After Brohi was detained, Amnesty International and UN bodies looking into disappearances called on the Emirati authorities not to deport him to Pakistan for fear he would be killed.

Brohi’s mother has obtained a copy of an Emirati travel document showing Brohi’s Emirati visa was cancelled in June 2019, and that he left two days later on a flight to a small airport in Balochistan. The UAE government media office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

ISLAMABAD: Grieved families of missing people of Balochistan demonstrating at the D-Chowk in Islamabad.

Local news channels reported that he was brought back to Pakistan and charged with sending funds to gunmen responsible for a 2018 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi. But Khatoon said she has been given no official explanation of his whereabouts.

“Just tell us our kids are safe, put them in jail, we don’t have any problem with that,” Khatoon said.

“If they were in jail at least we would know they are safe, at least I could take some food there for my son, or a blanket to keep him warm, or a change of clothes.”