QUETTA - A large number of relatives of missing persons on Wednesday (Eidul Ahza day) took out a rally and held a demonstration on deserted roads of Quetta City to protest against the non-recovery of their dear ones.
The rally was held under the aegis of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), an organisation formed by the relatives of missing persons striving for the recovery of their beloved ones for the last several years.
Shouting slogans against state functionaries, the protesters, including women and children, carried portraits of their missing relatives. They were also carrying placards inscribed with slogans, “Stop enforced disappearances” and ‘Recover all missing persons.” They marched through different roads of the city. Later, they dispersed peacefully.
Addressing the protesters, VBMP President Nasrullah Baloch said extra-judicial arrests and enforced disappearances had been started in 2002 in Balochistan, which were still underway.
He said since 2010 the recovery of decomposed dead bodies of missing persons started and so far more than 600 mutilated bodies of missing persons, including political workers, writers, poets and lawyers, had been recovered.
“Enforced disappearances of political workers and subsequent recovery of their tortured bodies are turning to become a human tragedy in Balochistan, but unfortunately nobody is taking it seriously,” he remarked.
The VBMP president said that relatives of missing persons were passing through agony and were unaware of whereabouts of their dear ones, so even on Eid day they were protesting and were on streets.
“The United Nations and other humanitarian organisations should take the issue of missing persons seriously and play their role for their early and safe recovery,” he demanded.
Talking to reporters, VBMP Vice President Mama Qadir Baloch said the sole purpose of the rally was to draw the attention of the world community towards the tragic state of the Baloch. “The Balochistan chief minister, after assuming power, visited missing persons’ camp and assured their relatives that he would take up the issue with the federal government, but the situation was getting more serious with each passing day,” he added.
The sister of Zakir Majeed Baloch, strongly criticising the government agencies, said her brother Zakir was missing, so how they could celebrate Eid. “The people are celebrating Eid across the world but we are on the roads struggling for the lives of missing persons,” she said and appealed to humanitarian organisations to play their effective role in this connection.