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Mahal Baloch’s abduction ignites fresh protests against enforced disappearances in Pakistan

Is Mahal Baloch the next woman leader in Baloch nationalism (Photo: Twitter)

The calls for the release of Mahal Baloch, abducted by Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), have grown louder. Pakistan has alleged that Mahal was a would-be suicide bomber of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) carrying a jacket with explosives in her handbag when she was arrested.

The Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB) has refuted these allegations.

The human rights body, based in Europe and Balochistan, has alleged that the CTD broke into Mahal’s house on Friday night, searched it, took away their money and whisked away mother-in-law Mahnaz, Mahal and three children – Nugrah, Nazeenk, and Banadi.


The HRCB has said that Pakistan’s CTD functions like an extra-judicial body and had allegedly abducted and killed Baloch people in fake encounters. It has asked for an impartial investigation into CTD’s operations saying that Mahal is the latest victim of Pakistan’s abuse.

Baloch families who have suffered the disappearance of their menfolk have coalesced together in demanding the release of Mahal. One of the foremost activists battling against the abuse of enforced disappearances, Sammi Deen Baloch, whose physician father, Dr Deen Muhammad Baloch was forcibly abducted from his government residence nearly 14 years back, has spoken out in favour of releasing Mahal.

In a series of Twitter statements, Sammi says that the abduction of Baloch women is not acceptable. She says: “We have been suffering the forced disappearance of our fathers, brothers and sons for many years, but now the forced disappearance of our women is not acceptable to us”.

Mahal Baloch, who was abducted the same night as the Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) militants had stormed the Karachi Police Office in Sindh, comes from a family of activists. Her late husband Nadim Baloch was a member of the BLF who died in a gunfight while her father-in-law has been a strong advocate of Baloch nationalism. Mahal’s sister too has been associated with the Baloch liberation struggle.

A large number of Baloch women have taken up the struggle for an independent Balochistan as the men have taken to arms against the accesses of the Pakistani establishment. In the past three years, Shari Baloch – the first woman Baloch suicide bomber, and Karima Baloch – activist who was found dead in far-away Canada, have become icons for the women of Balochistan.

Also Read: Watch: Is Karima Baloch’s martyrdom spurring women protests against Pakistan?