With Eid-al Adha just around the corner, Muslims around the world are busy with the preparations for Eid. But in Balochistan, Eid tells a different story – a story of despondency and agony. Families of the Baloch missing persons are sitting in front of the Karachi Press Club to protest the “enforced disappearances” of their loved ones as the residents of the city rush left and right to prepare for Eid.
It has been two weeks since the families of the Baloch missing persons started their sit-in protest in Karachi for the safe recovery of their loved ones. In a press release, the protestors announced carrying out a demonstration in front of the Karachi Press Club on Eid and asked human rights organizations and the general public to participate and amplify their voices.
The protestors also include the four-year-old daughter of missing Hameed Zehri who has now become the centre of attention of the sit-in protest. Stuttering and barely holding back tears, young Mahroz Hameed chants slogans for the safe recovery of her father. Her father was allegedly picked up by the Pakistani forces from his house in Gulistan-e-Johar, Karachi, in April this year.
Hameed Zehri is a native of tehsil Zehri, district Khuzdar, who had moved to Karachi in search of better employment opportunities and a better future for his four daughters and four sons. He had rented a flat in the Gulistan-e-Johar and worked at water filtration plants. His wife and children have been protesting for his safe release for several months now, but to no avail – Hameed Zehri is yet to see the light of the day.
In the provincial capital Quetta, the protest for the safe release of Baloch missing persons completed its 4695th day on Wednesday. Veteran activist for missing persons, Mama Qadeer Baloch said that Eid is the festival of love and celebration around the world. As Muslims around the world are busy in preparations for Eid, the Baloch are deprived of this right because thousands of our loved ones have been killed or forcibly disappeared. He said that the “Pakistani intelligence agencies and the security forces have robbed the Baloch of their right to celebrate Eid.”
Mama Qadeer Baloch announced that a demonstration will be carried out in front of the Quetta Press Club on Eid and asked student organizations, human rights groups, lawyers, journalists and the general public to participate in the demonstration and raise their voices in support of the family members of the Baloch missing persons.