The Land of Disappearances – Bashir Ahmed Baloch

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As world has witnessed, the forced disappearances issue is appalling in Balochistan. The enforced disappearances in Balochistan have taken a heavy toll on friends and families of those abducted by Pakistani security forces. Thousands of Baloch political and human rights activist has been disappeared or abducted without any warrant, most are in torture cells for years, other ending up dead and mutilated. This trauma is collective and will leave lasting impacts on Baloch Society in the long term.

For the last twenty years, we have been facing a systemic state-run policy of abductions, summary executions, torture and genocide.

The socio economic conditions in Balochistan were never promising due to the lack of representation, political and economic exploitation by Pakistan and China. However, the issue of missing persons of Balochistan has only aggravated the prevailing precarious state of Baloch people.

For example, the literacy rate has always been low with only a small proportion of girls attending the school due to conflicts, economic and social factors. But now thousands of Baloch people and activist are missing from all walks of life, their families and friends have been dragged into the process of unending protests, petitions and court hearings to compel the Pakistani Army to produce their loved ones.

Those who have been campaigning for last two decades have mostly been female members of the families because most male members have either been abducted or living in exile for fear of persecution.

Many of the children have grown up in the protest camp. As kids they were engaged in protests for their father and brothers like Farzana Majeed, Sammi Baloch, Ali Haider. This has gravely affected their mental growth and chances of normal lives. They are facing stolen childhoods.

Moreover, the problem is that there is no court law in Pakistan which can question Pakistani Security Force and Pakistani Intelligence agencies, the real perpetrators and architects of this policy of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. The judiciary’s role is very hopeless, Pakistani powerful Army and Intelligence agencies do not listen to the courts.

On other hand the international community, including United Nations, prominent human rights organization, have chosen to turn its back on this human right situation. Their silence has encouraged the Pakistani Army to continue their brazen act of human rights violations, torture, extrajudicial killing and abductions, which can easily be termed as crimes against humanity. These crimes should have been enough for international community to place sanction against the institutions and individuals directly and indirectly responsible.

Due to callous silence of international community and human rights organization, the Pakistani forces have scaled up their act of organized violence and suppression of peaceful Baloch activists, who are increasingly showing decency in face of political and social economic subjugation.

This has also increased the risk of full- scale genocide like the one Pakistani Army previously conducted in Bangladesh. The only way to save an entire native population from further atrocities is to impose sanctions on Pakistan Army and it must be discouraged from any further misadventures in Balochistan. This humanitarian disaster needs international community’s urgent attention.

It is time for international community including United Nations and EU to wake up and break their silence and apply the same human rights standard to the Pakistani state as they advocate for the rest of the world according to the United Nation human rights resolutions. Baloch people are human beings, deserving of basic rights. We appeal United Nations to intervene on the issue of enforced disappearances and human rights violation by Pakistani state and security forces.

Bashir Ahmed Baloch is political activist living in exile in Germany. He is affiliated with Baloch Voice Association (FR), and has been raising Baloch human rights    issue at various international platforms including in United Nation, EU, Deutsche Welle conferences etc.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Balochistan Post or any of its editors.

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