HR organisations must exert pressure on Pakistan for Zahid’s recovery – BSO Azad

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Balochistan’s main students organisation, BSO-Azad, has appealed international human rights organisations to fulfill their responsibilities and influence Pakistan to produce Chairman Zahid Baloch.

The statement, received by The Balochistan Post (TBP), was released only days before Zahid Baloch completes 4 years in incommunicado detention.

The then chairman of Baloch Students Organisation-Azad, Zahid Baloch, was arrested by Pakistani security forces on 18 March 2014 from CGS Colony in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan.

Now based in Canada, BSO-Azad Chairperson, Karima Baloch, who also appeared on BBC’s list of inspirational and influential women for 2016, is an eye-witness of Chairman Zahid Baloch’s arrest by Pakistani state forces. Since then Karima has moved to Canada, where she raises voice for Baloch rights.

In today’s statement, BSO-Azad alleged that Zahid’s abduction was continuity of unannounced embargo on Baloch students to gain quality education in Balochistan. “Zahid was a staunch supporter of educational and students rights, his abduction is part of a planned design to deprive Baloch nation of these rights” BSO-Azad’s central representative said in the statement.

BSO-Azad has continuously protested against Zahid Baloch’s abduction. One of BSO-Azad’s former central committee member, Lateef Johar, sat for 46 days long unto death hunger strike. During this hunger strike, the then Chief Minister of Balochistan Dr. Malik Baloch had admitted involvement of Pakistani secret services in Zahid Baloch’s disappearance.

Lateef Johar ended his hunger strike after assurance from Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) that international pressure will be exerted at Pakistani state for urgent recovery of Zahid Baloch.

“It is extremely unfortunate that since than AHRC has completely cut its contact with BSO-Azad and has played no role for Chairman Zahid’s recovery. This shows how serious such international organisations are when it comes to Balochistan,” BSO-Azad said in its statement.

BSO-Azad claimed that its four year long campaign for Zahid Baloch’s recovery has been one of the most prominent in the region’s history, however, unfortunately Zahid Baloch still “languishes in torture cells”.

BSO-Azad appealed International campaign groups to play their role for Zahid’s recovery. “Zahid Baloch was chairman of Balochistan’s largest students organisation. He was extremely active in campaigns to achieve rights for Balochistan’s students. His illegal detention is not only unjust to his family but also to all the students of Balochistan who have been deprived of a very sincere student leader.” BSO-Azad said in its statement.

BSO-Azad announced that it will run an online social media campaign on 18 March 2018. It requested people from all walks of life to take part in this campaign.

BSO-Azad  will use the hashtags #SaveBSOAzadLeaders and #SaveZahidBaloch during the social media campaign.

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