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‘We will send a Christmas gift to Karima she will never forget'

‘We will send a Christmas gift to Karima she will never forget'

Toronto Police's decision to not investigate the murder angle in the mysterious death of prominent exiled Baloch activist Karima Baloch has come in for huge criticism by Baloch activists and human rights organisations all over the world as she had been receiving anonymous death threats.

A day after being reported missing, Karima's body was pulled out of Lake Ontario on Sunday. Nearly 24 hours later, Toronto Police said that it is investigating the matter as "a non-criminal death" in spite of thousands of Balochs urging the authorities to probe the 'murder angle' given the threats to Karima's life by Pakistani authorities because of her political activism. Not too long ago, the 37-year-old had expressed fear for the lives of Balochs settled in Canada and criticised the Justin Trudeau government for allowing Pakistani radical elements and Army officials to settle down in the country.

Karima's family and activist friends have maintained that her death was no accident — their belief further strengthened with the similarities Karima's death has had with the killing of another Pakistani dissident, Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain in Sweden earlier this year, whose body was fished out of Fyris river on April 23, a month and a half after he went missing north of Stockholm.

"We can't believe or accept this was an accident. She was threatened anonymously. They said, ‘We know where you live.’ Her husband showed me the messages and it said, ‘We will send a Christmas gift to Karima she will never forget," Lateef Johar Baloch, Karima's friend who lives in the same city, told the <em>Toronto Sun</em>. Johar told the newspaper that the last time he spoke with Karima was on Friday about her courses at University of Toronto, where she was studying political science and economics.
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<p dir="ltr" lang="en">Sajid Baloch death by drowning in Sweden. Dissidents being attacked globally. There is a pattern here .
Question is , Why do critics of Pakistani state terrorism drown?</p>
— Ahmad Waqass Goraya (@AWGoraya) <a href="https://twitter.com/AWGoraya/status/1341662206526668801?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 23, 2020</a></blockquote>
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The mysterious death of Karima, who had sought refuge in Canada after escaping the "oppression" and "terrorism" at the hands of the state-backed forces in Pakistan's Balochistan, has sent shock waves in various minority communities in Canada. Civil society groups have condemned the "murder" of Baloch human rights activist and demanded thorough investigation.

"The dissidents and critics of the Pakistan authorities, who are living in exile are under constant fear with the increasing threats and attacks on them during the exile. We believe that the international community has a responsibility towards the protection of the exiled activists," said a joint statement issued by the Baloch National Movement, Balochistan National Party-Canada, World Sindhi
Congress-Canada, Pashtun Council Canada and PTM Committee Canada.

They believe that if a transparent investigation into Karima's "murder" is not launched immediately, it could damage beyond repair the image of the Justin Trudeau government.


"While we take immense pride in Canada’s long record of taking courageous stance against all kinds of violations against Human Rights anywhere in the World and Canada's image as one of the safest places for refugees and asylum seekers, any lack of a concrete action to this end might jeopardize the global image/reputation Canada has" the statement mentioned.

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Urging the Canadian government to bring perpetrators to justice, the minority groups have said that there should be no delay in even taking "diplomatic and political course of action" in case any foreign country or group were found to be involved behind this "brutal murder" of the activist.

A former Chairperson of the Baloch Students Organisation Azad, Karima was a fierce voice against the militarization of Balochistan, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial murders of Baloch people. She was named as one of the world's 100 most "inspirational and influential" women in 2016 by the BBC. She took refuge in Canada in 2016 fleeing the persecution by Pakistani State authorities and amidst fear for her life. She, along with other exiled Baloch activists, continued to raise voice against the human rights abuses in Balochistan by the Pakistani State authorities.

"This brave woman did not flee Pakistan to take her own life… We need to know the truth. I don't believe @TorontoPolice when they claim #Karima committed suicide. We need independent investigation into how she died," tweeted Pakistani-Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah.

Balochs are one of the most persecuted groups in Pakistan. Thousands of people have disappeared without trace in Balochistan since 2007. A military-led operation was launched in early 2005 aimed at wiping out the uprising by ethnic Baloch groups, who are fighting for a greater share of the province's resources. Hundreds of Baloch political activists in order to avoid persecution escaped from Balochistan and are compelled to seek asylum in other countries.

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Pakistani politicians and military rulers, including former President General Pervez Musharraf, have for long boasted about killing "traitors" abroad. A Pakistani businessman Mir Mohammad Ali Khan, an individual who had been <a href="https://www.dawn.com/news/1332120"><strong>caught "red-handed" cheating</strong></a> small investors by abusing his influence on social media, even tweeted a hit list of the Pakistani government but later deleted it after facing severe criticism from the netizens.
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<p dir="ltr" lang="en">If the Canadian police suspect <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/karimabaluch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#karimabaluch</a> ‘s death was not foul play, why is this man admitting to criminal intent??? <a href="https://t.co/3Ft6IoWjOh">pic.twitter.com/3Ft6IoWjOh</a></p>
— Amber Rahim Shamsi (@AmberRShamsi) <a href="https://twitter.com/AmberRShamsi/status/1341417723876823041?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 22, 2020</a></blockquote>
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The simmering insurgency in Pakistan notwithstanding, Karima's death could well trigger in tough times ahead for Justin Trudeau who has been trolled on social media for having plenty of time to "meddle with farm laws in India" but unable to protect "a vulnerable young lady in his own backyard," a woman who was the beacon of hope for persecuted Balochs.

The Canadian PM is also being accused of sheltering terrorists and singing the tune of rogue Pakistan Army and ISI operatives.
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<p dir="ltr" lang="en">We mourn with larger Canadian, Baloch &amp; international families, who have obvious questions. All of us who knew Karima see the circumstances of her death as deeply suspicious. We must leave no stone unturned in uncovering &amp; confronting the reality of what happened to her. 2/3</p>
— Chris Alexander (@calxandr) <a href="https://twitter.com/calxandr/status/1341579283299512325?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 23, 2020</a></blockquote>
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"What a shameful day…. @JustinTrudeau You are answerable for this…," said Indian actress Kangana Ranaut while replying to a tweet which said that "Justin Trudeau is nothing but an ISI/Khalistani agent ruling over Canada."