Geneva [Switzerland]: A Baloch activist has said that Pakistani state authorities have been using enforced disappearances as a tool to crush the voices of oppressed people like Balochs, Pashtuns, Muhajirs, Sindhis and religious minorities.
“On one hand, Pakistan is a signatory of international conventions against enforced disappearances. On the other (hand), they are busy abducting people. The Baloch Republican Party and World Baloch Organisation have started an international awareness campaign (in this regard),” President of Baloch Republican Party Brahumdagh Bugti said in a video message.
“We urge the international community to take action against enforced disappearances of Baloch and other people in Pakistan,” he added.
On Sunday, Baloch Republican Party and World Baloch Organisation organised a protest outside Lord’s cricket stadium in London to highlight the worsening human rights condition in Pakistan.
Protestors distributed leaflets outside the stadium, where Pakistan was facing South Africa in their World Cup match, to raise awareness about enforced disappearances of Baloch and other religious minorities in Pakistan.
However, a group of Pakistani cricket fans tore down posters and banners put up by the Baloch activists. The incident came even as Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa was watching the match along with other officials in the stadium.
The angry fans also shouted slogans — “Long Live Pakistan Army”.
According to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, an entity established by the Pakistani government, 5,000 cases of enforced disappearances have been registered since 2014. Most of them are still unresolved.
Independent local and international human rights organisations put the numbers much higher. Around 20,000 have reportedly been abducted only from Balochistan, out of which more than 2,500 have turned up dead as bullet-riddled dead bodies, bearing signs of extreme torture.
Pakistan’s establishment has been long criticised over its practice of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings by International bodies and local human rights organisations that dare to speak out on the issue.
Before being elected as Prime Minister, Imran Khan had admitted in multiple TV interviews the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings and vowed to resign if he was unable to put an end to the practice, holding those involved responsible.