‘Heartbreaking’: Baloch families protest on Eid day for missing loved ones

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Social activists have described heartbreaking scenes in Balochistan’s capital Quetta as families of Baloch missing persons including young kids protest on Eid day, the muslim religious festival.

Renowned social activist Salma Jaffar shared pictures on Twitter of a protest that she came across on Saturday morning. She termed the events in Quetta ‘quite depressing’.

According to The Balochistan Post (TBP) correspondent, family of missing Engineer Mehr Gul Marri had organised a rally to protest long disappearance of the government official. Engineer Mehr Gul was arrested by Pakistani secret services in 2015 and has been missing since then.

A woman participant of the protest told TBP that her two kids instead of celebrating the Eid are here carrying pictures of their missing uncle. “We want to celebrate happiness but how is that possible when our loved ones have been missing for years and we do not even know if they are still alive,” she told TBP when asked if the kids should have been enjoying the day rather than protesting on Eid.

The protest was first of the two that were held in Quetta on Eid day. The second protest was organised by campaign groups Baloch Human Rights Organisation (BHRO) and Voice For Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) to condemn arbitrary arrests and subsequent disappearances of Baloch youth.

Enforced disappearances that started in early 2000s have never slowed down in Balochistan, in fact dramatic surge has been observed in number of people going missing with each coming year.

According to Baloch National Movement (BNM), just in last three months 293 people have gone missing after being arrested by security forces. This includes 107 persons in March, 115 in April and 71 in May.

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