Toronto: Canadian Baloch rights activists protested against Pakistani atrocities in Balochistan. October 4 commemorates the fourth year of the disappearance of Baloch student leader, Shabir Baloch who was arrested and disappeared on Oct 4, 2016, from Awaran, Balochistan.
Speakers; Karima Baloch, Lateef Johar, Zaffar Baloch, Tarek Fatah, and Hajan Kalhoro condemned human rights violations in Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They demanded the immediate release of Shabir Baloch and all disappeared persons.
World Sindhi Congress and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement actively participated in the protest gathering in the Canadian city.
“#ReleaseShabirBaloch Toronto protest rally demanded an end to atrocities, political abductions & extrajudicial killings in #Balochistan #Sindh #Pakhtunistan #StopBalochGenocide. End Pakistani military occupation of Balochistan, Sindh, and Pakhtunistan. #FreeBalochistan,” Zaffar Baloch, a Baloch activist, wrote on Twitter.
The activist further shared a video on Twitter with the message, “We have gathered here today to remember who Shabir Baloch is and why he was taken away by the Pakistani army during an operation in 2016 in Balochistan. Shabbir Ahmed is a student of Balochistan University and the secretary of BSO Azad.”
His video message further added that the reason why the Pakistani authorities “had a problem” with the student leader was that “of his agitation, his demands” asking the rights of the Baloch people and Balochistan.
“The reason why the Pakistani authorities had a problem with Shabir Baloch (was) because of his agitation, his demands that he was asking—from the authorities—for the rights of the Baloch people and the rights of Balochistan,” it added.
Shabir was allegedly abducted by the Pakistani Army on October 4, 2016, from Gowarkop and was attending a gathering of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) when the army conducted a raid at the place where a gathering was being held. Apart from Shabir, 29 others were also picked up.
Balochistan is a resource-rich but least developed province of Pakistan where a movement for freedom is ongoing for the past several decades. Many Baloch believe that the region was independent before 1947 and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan.
Pakistan Army has launched several operations in Balochistan and has supported criminals, which locals call “death squads“.
A large number of political activists, intellectuals, women, and children in Pakistan’s Balochistan province are victims of enforced disappearances by the security agencies.
Many of them are languishing in detention centers whereas mutilated bodies of some of these abducted Baloch are found in isolated places.