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The Dawn

Published Date: Mar 4, 2014

Feudals blamed for lingering Baloch missing persons’ issue

The leader of Baloch marchers, Mama Qadeer, on Wednesday blamed feudals for the lingering missing persons’ issue.

Addressing
a seminar here he said their relatives started disappearing in 2001 and
since then they had been suffering because their problem was not
handled by true representatives of the people.

The leader of the
relatives of Baloch missing persons was speaking at a seminar jointly
organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Insani
Huqooq Itehad (IHI).

Mama Qadeer said that in the past Dr Abdul
Malik, Hasil Khan Bizenjo and others raised the issue of the missing
persons but it could not be resolved because they were not true
representatives of the Baloch people.

"Six years back, we
established Voice of Baloch Missing Person and started registering
missing persons and dead bodies. At the moment we have a data of 19,900
missing persons along with their names, addresses, age and party
affiliation," he said.

"On October 27, 2013, we started marching
from Quetta Press Club on foot. The purpose of the walk was to get the
attention of international community. Officials of Military Intelligence
and ISI threatened us all the way," he said.

"In Karachi,
Federal Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif had a meeting with us and assured
that the missing persons will be released within 24 hours but since
then we have been waiting for the fulfillment of the promise," he said.

"The
government and courts have disappointed the marchers and now they are
looking to the international community," he said Another marcher Farzana
Majeed Baloch said her brother Zakir Majeed had been missing since June
2009.

She said the people of remote areas were unable to report
their missing family members. In this regard, she suggested that civil
society should arrange a survey about missing persons and media should
expose all such cases.

"There are women in Balochistan who have
been waiting for their four to six missing sons. A woman told me that
she has been waiting for her missing husband and four sons," she said.

Social
Activist Salma Jafer said that the human rights organisations and civil
society in Pakistan should raise their voice for the missing Baloch
persons.

"Unfortunately, over 19,000 people have been missing but
the government has not taken any serious step for their recovery," she
said.

Tracing the history of Baloch women, she said they had
always been strong, determined and warrior of the time. Farzana Baloch
should be a hero for not only Pakistan but for international community
as well, she said.

Human rights activist Haris Khalique demanded a political solution to the problem.

Civil society activist Nusrat Zahra recited a poem for Baloch missing persons.