A student is among the five Baloch who were allegedly picked up by the Pakistani security forces from the Maripur Village in Karachi’s west. The five detainees also included fishermen and labourers who were reportedly working in the area to earn a subsistence.
According to reports, the forces dressed in plainclothes carried out raids in the Maripur Village and picked up the five Baloch individuals. They were identified as Nawaz Ali s/o Nasir, Adil Imam s/o Imam Baksh, Zahid s/o Jan Muhammad, Israr s/o Muhammad Anwar and Ali s/o Bakshi. The latter two of the five – Ali and Israr – are students and footballers who were also picked up once in the past, along with Nawaz Ali, and released afterwards. Others were fishermen and labourers who worked in Karachi to earn a living.
“Enforced disappearances” of the Baloch peoples have seen a sudden uptick throughout Balochistan and in various major cities of Pakistan, especially since the deadly attack on Chinese nationals in Karachi. Most of the victims are students and social activists who are allegedly picked up by the Pakistani intelligence agencies and extra-legally kept in custody. Only a few days ago, the Pakistani forces allegedly picked up Habiba Baloch, a poetess and an artist, from her house in Karachi. The family sources told the media that the forces had also confiscated their mobile phones and laptops, and that they were specifically looking for the diary containing Habiba’s poetry.
The incident engendered a massive outcry on social media – thousands took to the social media to condemn what they called the “crackdown on Baloch women” and demanded the safe release of Habiba Baloch and Noor Jahan Baloch, another woman who was picked up from Balochistan’s district Kech. Rallies and demonstrations were also organized in different cities for the recovery of the Baloch missing persons.
Habiba Baloch was released on Saturday night, along with footballer Abdul Rashid, picked up from Lyari, and Ashraf Raza, who was picked up a day earlier. Missing Fayaz Ali Sarpara was also released after over eight months of detention. His wife, Nargis Fayaz, and infant son, Ali, have been protesting on the streets of Quetta for his safe release. Nargis confirmed the news on social media and thanked everyone who supported her in this arduous journey.
Missing Danish Bashir was also released on Saturday night. A worker on the Gwadar Port, Danish was picked up on May 6th, allegedly by the Pakistani forces. Human rights activists expressed relief over the release of the five missing persons and said that they will not stop campaigning until Noor Jahan Baloch and thousands of other Baloch missing persons are not released. The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, Baloch Yakjehti Committee, Baloch Students Organization Pajaar and the Baloch Women Forum called for a demonstration in Quetta on Saturday against the enforced disappearance of Baloch students and women.