In support of missing persons: Advocacy group blames agencies

Long march reaches Mastung, protesters to walk on foot until they reach Karachi.

Our Correspondent October 29, 2013
Long march reaches Mastung, protesters to walk on foot until they reach Karachi. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN


The head of an advocacy group on Monday accused security agencies of trying to kidnap his brother in a bid to coerce him into ending a protest for the recovery of missing persons in Balochistan.

Addressing a news conference at the Quetta Press Club from where Baloch families launched a long march against enforced disappearances on Monday, Voice for Baloch Missing Persons chairman Nasrullah Baloch claimed that security agencies had tried to whisk away his brother Samiullah Shahwani from Quetta to pressurise him to end the protest.

“Security forces are trying to suppress the voices of relatives of the missing persons by threatening and harassing them,” he said.

Personnel dressed in civilian clothes and armed with sophisticated weapons, abducted his brother, he claimed.

“My brother managed to get off the car and flee during a massive traffic jam,” said Nasrullah. “Security agencies will be responsible if something happens to me and my family.”

Since 2001 people have been subjected to enforced disappearances and the number of missing persons has increased, according to Baloch.

Long march reaches Mastung

The long march launched by relatives of missing persons from Balochistan reached the district of Mastung, some kilometres from Quetta on Monday evening.

As many as 20 families, led by Mama Qadir Reki, vice chairman of VBMP, including six women and children, started their journey from Quetta Press Club, carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans in support of their demands. The participants of the protest will march on foot until they reach Karachi, some 700 kilometres from Quetta.

Qadir said participants of the long march had not been provided with any security.

“We are facing constant threats to our lives and state functionaries want us to end our struggle,” he told reporters.

Qadir was last contacted when he was in Mastung along with other protesters on Monday night. He said that the long march will stop near Kalat district before resuming the journey.

One of the protesters, Farzana Zakir Majeed seemed determined to continue the march despite the difficulties.

“It is a very painful journey, and my feet are bruised, but I still want to walk for the recovery of my brother and others like him,” Majeed told The Express Tribune. “I am hopeful that our struggle will be fruitful,” she added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2013.


Hamza Baloch (@H_Balouch) | 9 years ago | Reply

According to VBMP, more than 10,000 Baloch are missing... They gathered only 20 Persons ?

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