Baloch protestors end their sit-in protest after government assurance

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The families of Baloch missing persons ended their sit-in protest on Saturday after the assurance of the Pakistani government that their grievances will be alleviated. 

According to the details, the families of the Baloch missing persons, who have been protesting in the federal capital for more than a week, decided to end their sit-in protest after being visited by the Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari. Mazari assured the protestors that the Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet with them in March. 

Mazari also confirmed the news in a tweet, saying that the government is committed to “ensure an end to this practice of Enforced Disappearances through legislation – process is now moving forward.”

The tweet also contained a press release from the ministry of human rights which said that the prime minister had instructed Mazari to meet with the protestors and convey his message to them. The message contained the following three points: 

1) The protestors should end their dharna [sit-in]

2) The prime minister would meet a three-member representative from among them in March

3) They should handover a list of their missing persons to Mazari so that their “status” could be ascertained and conveyed to the premier before the meeting. 

Chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Nasrullah Baloch announced the ending of the sit-in protest in a press conference. He said that we are departing with the hope the government will fulfil its promises. 

He said that the government must end the practice of enforced disappearances in Balochistan through sound legislation. He also asked the government to provide “reasonable evidence” of the missing persons who have lost their lives in torture cells. 

The VBMP chairman said that it would be “unacceptable” if the government claims that the missing persons mentioned in the list are residing in Afghanistan or hiding somewhere in a fugitive camp. “We want firm evidence of condition and whereabouts of the missing persons mentioned in the list.”

The protestors thanked the human rights groups and the civil society in Islamabad for cooperating with them and supporting their cause. They said that we will struggle on a common front for the protection of human rights. 

“Thank you so much for your support, encouragement and expressing solidarity with our mothers and sisters, we are really thankful to @mjdawarand @ManzoorPashteenand all other members of PTM”, tweeted Sammi Deen Baloch, one of the organizers of the sit-in protest. 

She also confirmed in another tweet that the list of the Baloch missing persons has been handed over to the human rights ministry of Pakistan. She said that we have been promised many times in the past, but to no avail. She said that she hopes that Prime Minister Imran Khan will stand by his words.


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