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Activists, families continue protests against human rights violations in Balochistan

Quetta,Pakistan

Political activists and families of missing persons in Balochistan have been protesting for weeks to secure the safe release of their loved ones.

On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr on Monday, the grieving victim families continued to hold demonstrations outside Quetta Press Club and raised demand for the release of their kin from Pakistan Army’s secret cells.

Dr Abdul Hakeem Lehri, a Central Committee member of the Baloch Republican Party said in his address, “These people standing here are not terrorists. They have come here to protest for their fathers and brothers. I want to make it clear that your country will have to bear the cost of all the atrocities carried upon us. You have been persecuting Balochs for years and trying to conquer our land.”

“Your country will suffer the consequences of what you are doing today with us. But let me warn you that you will be deluged by the same blood of Balochs which you have been spilling for years. Don’t ever forget this. You have been carrying out military operations in the region for twenty years. What have you achieved by killing our people?” he questioned further.

A large number of Baloch political activists, intellectuals, journalists and many civilians have been missing for years. They have allegedly been abducted by Pakistan army and spy agency, the ISI, and kept in secret cells.

Dr. Lehri said, “You are not sparing even the educated youth who has achieved its degrees from Islamabad and Lahore. You have armed them and have enjoyed the bloodshed. You have killed Sana and Noora. What kind of attitude is this?”

“You have turned Balochistan into a cantonment. Your people are stationed everywhere. There are security checks at every corner. Balochistan would have flourished if the money you have spent on killing people was used for building colleges, medical colleges and hospitals,” he said.

Mama Qadeer Baloch, the Vice Chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons said, “We have now spent 3,966 days in this hunger strike camp. We are protesting against the barbarities of ISI who have been abducting the youth and children of Balochistan. Several of them have been picked in last week only. A student, Sana, who has been pursuing M. Phil., has been picked by ISI”.

He added, “While people around the world are happy on the festive occasion of Eid, every single household in Balochistan is grieving. 53,658 people have been abducted from Balochistan which include women and children. 350 women and 200 children have been forcefully abducted. 18,000 youths have been killed in Balochistan. This is the situation out here in Balochistan”.

Balochistan is a resource rich but poorest province of Pakistan, where people have been suffering due to hunger, poverty and illiteracy. Pakistan army has carried several operations in the region with an aim to eliminate the Baloch and occupy their territories.

As per Baloch political activists the atrocities in the region have manifold since after the launch of multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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