Some two dozen marchers led by Mama Qadir Baloch of the Voice for Missing Baloch Persons (VMBP), en route to Islamabad, reached Hyderabad on Tuesday evening and staged a demonstration outside the press club.
Hundreds of human rights activists and workers of the nationalist and leftist parties besides Jamat-e-Islami’s local leaders welcomed the Baloch protesters — the relatives of missing persons of Balochistan. The mother and sisters of Mohammed Ali Noonari, who was allegedly hustled away in July from Hyderabad, also joined the protesters.
While addressing the rally, Mama Qadir reiterated his demand for the release of Baloch people who have been subjected to enforced disappearances. “I wanted to say many things here but a lack of adequate security holds me back,” he said.
Despite his reluctance to speak his heart out, Mama Qadir expressed pessimism about getting justice from the Supreme Court. “The security agencies have kept the SC hostage,” he alleged. “We are not satisfied with the way the missing persons’ case has kept lingering in the court.”
He appealed the international human rights organisations to come to the help of missing persons. Farzana Majeed, whose brother Zakir Majeed went missing in 2009, expressed resolve to continue the protests until they achieve their objectives. “I had my own ambitions in life but my brother’s disappearance has distracted me from pursuing them. And this is what I have been doing for the last four years, protesting for Zakir’s recovery.”
Saba Baloch, sister of Muhammad Ramzan Baloch who was whisked away last year, asserted that their protest movement will only grow stronger if their loved ones are not released. “There are some people who ridicule what some 20 or so marchers can do. Time will tell what we aimed for and what we achieved.”
Nazeer Bano Noonari, mother of a missing person from Hyderabad, said she is fighting a case for her son’s recovery in the Sindh High Court. However, she bewailed that there is no progress in the case despite the passage of six months. The protest march later set out for Bhit Shah, Matiari district, as it continued its journey towards Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2013.
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Must see this video to know what is happening to people in Balochistan.