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Baloch Yakjeheti Committee raises concerns over rise in enforced disappearances in Balochistan

Representative Image (Photo: X/BYC)

The Baloch Yakjeheti Committee in a statement released on Sunday raised concerns over the alarming rise in the number of enforced disappearances, calling it an endless cycle of pain for the Baloch community.

The statement also claimed that Pakistani law enforcement agencies in recent times have intensified the incidents of enforced disappearances especially in the Gwadar Area. According to the BYC statement enforced disappearances have plunged the entire Balochistan region into a cycle of trauma and suffering, creating endless anguish for the Baloch people. The increasing number of enforced disappearances and fake arrests in Gwadar remains a grave concern.

Reportedly, more than 25 incidents of enforced disappearances occurred in Surbandhan, an area of Gwadar district recently.

While some of those who disappeared were later released, the whereabouts of Sameer, son of Hamza, Mohsin, son of Rahim Baksh, and Niaz, son of Abdaal, remain unknown. Additionally, on May 22, 2024, Muhammad Waheed and Nusrat were detained and forcibly disappeared by the forces in Gwadar, the report claimed.

Enforced disappearance stands as the Pakistan security forces’ primary tool to stifle Baloch’s consciousness, viewing it as the key to suppressing Baloch’s national identity. Hence, the BYC also demanded that the international community play a vital role in raising the voice of the Baloch community on the international level against the Pakistani administration.

Previously, prominent Baloch leader Mahrang Balcoh, in her recent statement given at Oslo Norway stated that “during the last two decades, in the name of counter-insurgency operations and peace, a large number of people have been forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces”.

“The area I belong to has been reeling from violence and insurgencies for the last seven decades. During these last two decades, in the name of counter-insurgency operations and peace, a large number of young men, mostly students, engineers, doctors, political activists, and journalists have been forcibly disappeared by Pakistani security agencies,” she said.

She further stressed that these people have been detained in detention centres, and tortured, and their families didn’t know about their whereabouts.

“Not for days, but for years, even though there are cases that have been enforcedly disappeared for decades. And the family didn’t know that their beloved ones were alive or dead,” Baloch added. Mahrang Baloch emphasised that even today, it has been practised by fascist states, the oppressive states like Pakistan.

While sharing her own experience of suffering at the hands of the Pakistani administration Baloch said, “I myself am a victim. My own father was disappeared by agents of Pakistani state in 2009. He was killed and his bullet-ridden body was found in 2011. When I was at 10th standard that was the day when my result was announced. That day, I found the body of my father, my younger brother disappeared when I was doing my graduation in medicine in 2017.”

“But my case is not exceptional. There are worse cases than this in Balochistan. Even though there are victims and there are families where no one is left to tell their stories. And even though there are villages that have been destroyed and no one is here to tell their stories.”In her statement, she also said that there are hundreds of children, teenagers and young people whose fathers, uncles or brothers have been missing for weeks, months and in some of the worst cases years.

“They do not know whether they are alive or not. Together with these youngsters, the majority of whom are women. I have been campaigning and pressing the Pakistan Supreme Court, Parliament and security forces to release those who have disappeared or at least present them before a court if they have committed any crime,” she said.