Dr. Deen Muhammad Baloch was a political activist and a close aide of Chairman Ghulam Muhammad in the revival of non-parliamentary and pro-liberationist politics. Dr. Deen Muhammad Baloch was also a member of the Central Committee of the Baloch National Movement, associated with the struggle for Baloch national rights. Pakistan’s military institutions have forcibly disappeared thousands of activists associated with the Baloch national rights movement, starting from Musharaf’s military dictatorship and continuing into the present so-called democratic era. These activists, including Dr. Deen Muhammad Baloch, have been held in the custody of military institutions for many years. On the night of June 28, 2009, Dr. Deen Muhammad Baloch was forcibly disappeared from the hospital in Ornach, Khuzdar while on duty.
During these fourteen years, Dr. Deen Muhammad Baloch’s daughters have tirelessly sought the recovery of their father, knocking on the doors of Pakistan’s parliament, judiciary, political parties, and human rights institutions. Along with Mama Qadeer and Farzana Majeed, Sammi Deen Muhammad participated in long marches from Quetta to Karachi and from Karachi to Islamabad. They have staged sit-ins in Karachi, Quetta, and Islamabad for recovery of thousands of forcibly disappeared persons, including Dr. Deen Muhammad Baloch. Despite over a decade passing, Mehlab and Sammi Deen Muhammad’s struggle to find their father continues.
Previously, the forced disappearances of Baloch political activists were primarily limited to Balochistan and Karachi. However, now political activists from Gulf countries are being handed over to Pakistan. Rashid Baloch was handed over to Pakistan by the United Arab Emirates, but even after five years, he has not been presented in court and given the right to a fair trial. Rashid Baloch’s mother has been fighting for his recovery for five years, yet both the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan remain silent regarding Rashid Baloch.
In Balochistan, hundreds of children, like Sammi and Mehlab, have spent their childhood in press clubs and protesting on the streets. An entire generation has witnessed forced disappearances during the Baloch insurgency. However, Pakistan’s ruling institutions are reluctant to review their policies, and forced disappearances continue in Balochistan.
While Muslims around the world are busy preparing for the joy of Eid, the families of forcibly disappeared persons in Balochistan are preparing to protest for the recovery of their loved ones on the day of Eid.
Mehlab, Sammi, Saira, mothers of Rashid and Zakir, and the families of the missing persons will spend Eid protesting in front of the Karachi and Quetta Press Club. The forced disappearances in Balochistan have resulted in a human tragedy due to the silence and inactions of Pakistan’s political parties, human rights organizations, and international bodies to hold Pakistan accountable for its actions.