Wed, 21 Oct 2020

Geneva [Swittzerland], September 29 (ANI): Balochistan is facing a pandemic of impunity and abuse of rights, Baloch activist Munir Mengal told the United Nations on Tuesday while urging the UN working body on enforced disappearances to take appropriate actions to ensure stringent action against Pakistan for the safe recovery of Baloch missing persons.

Speaking at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council, Mengal, the President of Baloch Voice Association said: "Baloch children have grown up in protest camps asking for the recovery of their family members. Balochistan is facing a pandemic of impunity and abuse of rights.""The cases of Baloch missing persons registered with UN working body on enforced disappearances yet their family members have not heard any information either from Pakistan or from this august UN body," he added.

Mengal further said that the situation "has already worsened" citing the case of Rashid Hussain Brohi who was taken under detention by the UAE agencies having all the pieces of evidence and was also documented by the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, who later on was handed over to Pakistan secretly and illegally.

"In June 2019 Pakistani agencies and media claimed that Rashid Hussain is under the custody of Pakistan. Since then there has neither been any information about his fate and nor has he been presented to any court of justice," he said.

He also highlighted the case of Zahid Kurd Baloch, a student leader who was "whisked away" by Pakistani uniformed security forces from Balochistan University in front of many witnesses in March 2014. Since then, there has been no information about him.

The activist further slammed the world body for displaying a lack of interest in the enforced disappearances in Balochistan, which has "accelerated the culture of disappearing with impunity" by the Pakistan Army.

"The number of victims is in thousands, the victims include Baloch political and human rights activists, students, females, kids, infants, etc. and the practice of disappearing is going on a daily basis. The silence of the judiciary and a lack of interest from UN bodies has accelerated the culture of disappearing with impunity," the activist added.

He later urged the working body to take important steps against Islamabad for its violation of rights against the people in Balochistan. "I urge the UN Working Body on Enforced disappearances to take appropriate and effective measures against Pakistan for the safe recovery of Baloch missing persons," he concluded.

Balochistan is a resource-rich but least developed province of Pakistan where a movement for freedom is ongoing for the past several decades. Many Baloch believe that the region was independent before 1947 and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan.

The Pakistan Army has launched several operations in Balochistan and has supported criminals, which locals call "death squads".

A large number of political activists, intellectuals, women and children in Pakistan's Balochistan province are victims of enforced disappearances by the security agencies.Many of them are languishing in detention centres whereas mutilated bodies of some of these abducted Baloch are found in isolated places. (ANI)

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