The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) staged a protest in front of the Quetta Press Club on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. At the same time, it marked 3968th day of continues protest for missing persons.
Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has been protesting against enforced disappearances for more than a decade. The organization has been setting hunger strike camps in front of Quetta and Karachi press clubs while the organization also marched from Quetta to Karachi and Islamabad.
The protest was attended by relatives of missing persons from different parts of Balochistan. The protest was led by Mama Qadeer Baloch, Vice Chairman for the VBMP, BiBi Gul Baloch of the Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB) and Shumaila Ismail of the Balochistan National Party.
Mama Qadeer Baloch said that “like every year, this year again the families of the missing persons are protesting for the recovery of their loved ones as no one can celebrate Eid separated from their loved ones.”
He said that instead of releasing the missing persons on the occasion of Eid, there has been an increase of enforced disappearances. There has been no significant progress on the issue of thousands of missing persons. International organizations have been talking about this from time to time but they should take practical actions on this matter.
“Instead of providing financial assistance to Pakistan, international organizations should impose sanctions on it for committing human rights violations,” VBMP vice chairman said.
In front of the Quetta Press Club, the family members were holding pictures of their missing loved ones and chanting slogans for their release.
BNP’s Shumaila Ismail, on this occasion said “we should be told, what was the crime of these people that they have gone missing and why these people are not being produced in the courts.”
“We don’t know the graves of our loved ones, but we know the address of this protest camp, that’s why we women come here to express our grief so that we can reach out to international organizations,” she added.
Later, under the leadership of Mama Qadeer, a visit was made to ‘the martyrs’ graveyard of Balochistan’ in New Kahan area of Quetta city.
On this occasion, Mama Qadeer Baloch said that these are the martyrs who were taken away by the secret services personnel and later their mutilated bodies were dumped. There are some graves of those martyrs who were beyond recognition, he added.
He further said “We also want to draw the attention of human rights organizations to the fact that the graves of Baloch martyrs have also been demolished by state agencies.”