Author: Adil Baloch
Muhammed Ramzan Baloch was abducted by the Pakistani army on 25th July 2010. Ramzan was travelling on a passenger bus to Gwadar along with his seven year old son Ali Haider and other family members when their vehicle was stopped by the FC Soldiers at the Zero Point in Uthal. Frontier Corps soldiers entered into the bus, they identified Ramzan and started to beat him up and then they dragged him outside into a military vehicle. It has been 11 years since his forcible disappearance and nobody has heard from Ramzan ever again.
Ramzan Baloch belonged to the Mashkay area of Balochistan but he had to leave Mashkay with his family and settle in Gwadar, where he opened a small laundry shop to earn his livelihood and also support his children’s education. Along with being a family man, he was also sympathetic to the independence movement of Balochistan, he was a senior member of the BNM (Baloch National Movement) and this is probably the reason why he is still missing to date.
In 2013, his son Ali Haider alongside the family members of other Baloch missing persons participated in the Long March arranged by the VBMP (Voice For Baloch Missing Persons) for the recovery of their loved ones. Ali Haider covered approximately 2,500 kilometers from Quetta to Islamabad but unfortunately, all the efforts went in vain and Ramzan Baloch is still missing. Over the years Ali Haider has participated in several protests and campaigns on social media for the release of his father but the Pakistani media and the International media has not even bat an eye.
Ali Haider spent his entire childhood without the love and blessings of his father. I guess when he looks back at his childhood memories all he will remember is pain and regret of not having his father around him when he was growing up. But Ali Haider isn’t the only child to go through all these sufferings and agonies, it is the story of almost every household in Balochistan where the children grow up without the shadow of their fathers who have been either abducted or killed by the Pakistani army. At the age where the children should be studying at a school or playing in a playground but instead they are out on the streets holding a placard seeking justice for their loved ones.
On 16th June 2019, Ali Haider suffered the same fate as his father and got abducted by the Pakistani security forces from Gwadar, Balochistan. The kid who spent his whole childhood in protests, rallies and sit-ins for the release of his father, he himself had gone missing. Nobody knows what crime he could have possibly committed to go missing like this, maybe peacefully protesting for the release of your loved ones is also considered a crime in the books of the Pakistani army. Eventually, after 5 days of disappearance Ali Haider was released on 21st June 2019 but this incident didn’t break his confidence and till date the brave Ali Haider hasn’t lost hope and he continues to protest for the safe recovery of his father Ramzan Baloch.
11 years have passed since the forcible disappearance of Ramzan Baloch, Ali Haider went from being a small kid to a teenage boy, got abducted and and spent 5 days in the torture cells of the Pakistani army but Ramzan Baloch is still missing. It is the responsibility of international media and human rights organizations to take notice of Ramzan Baloch’s case, save his life and also give relief to his family from the collective punishment.