'Voice of Baloch Missing Persons' caravan reaches Hyderabad

Published December 25, 2013
— Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hussain Khan
— Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hussain Khan
Relatives of missing persons march on road at Hyderabad press club as they participate in a rally organized by Voice of Baloch Missing Persons,Baluchistan to Islamabad.— Photo by INP
Relatives of missing persons march on road at Hyderabad press club as they participate in a rally organized by Voice of Baloch Missing Persons,Baluchistan to Islamabad.— Photo by INP
— Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hussain Khan
— Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hussain Khan
Relatives of missing person addressing outside Hyderabad press club. — Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hussain Khan
Relatives of missing person addressing outside Hyderabad press club. — Photo courtesy of Mohammad Hussain Khan
Relatives of missing persons march on road at Hyderabad press club as they participate in a rally organized by Voice of Baloch Missing Persons,Baluchistan to Islamabad. — Photo by INP
Relatives of missing persons march on road at Hyderabad press club as they participate in a rally organized by Voice of Baloch Missing Persons,Baluchistan to Islamabad. — Photo by INP

HYDERABAD: The caravan of 'Voice of Baloch Missing Persons' led by Mama Qadeer Baloch reached Hyderabad on Wednesday for an overnight stay in the city.

The small group consisted of around 25 people including women and children.

The long march has entered its 59th day ever since the journey started off from Balochistan’s capital, Quetta.

Mama leads the march under aegis of Voice of Missing Baloch Persons (VMBP) as vice president of the advocacy group.

They had arrived at the Hyderabad Press Club to interact with mediapersons.

Members of civil society and a few leaders belonging to political parties (mostly nationalist) were present on the occasion to receive them.

While counting rosary beads in his hands, Mama Qadeer, claimed that "the situation of enforced disappearances in Balochistan had worsened ever since the new provincial government headed by Dr Abdul Malik Baloch came into power."

“I don’t have any hope that those who have picked up our dear ones will deliver justice to us. We just want world bodies like United Nations Organisation (UNO) and Amnesty International (AI) to take notice of our plight,” Mama Qadeer told Dawn.com.

Mama himself had received the mutilated body of his son who was also the information secretary of Baloch Republican Party, Jalil Reiki, in November 2011.

His advocacy group helps families confront with this perennial problem of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, following his son’s death.

He believes his son died in the custody of intelligence agencies and said that he kept false hopes regarding an early recovery of his son.

“We will be presenting our memorandum to the UN in Islamabad after reaching there and hold a seminar before deciding on the next phase of our struggle,” he said.

Qadeer also referred to the body of Asghar Baloch of Balochistan National Movement (BNM) which was recovered three days ago.

Missing since three months, Qadeer said that such incidents clearly show that there was no let up in cases of enforced disappearances.

Bodies of missing Baloch men have previously been recovered from Karachi's Surjani town and other areas near the outskirts of the city.

For that reason the march also included people from Karachi and Hyderabad in search of their missing relatives.

During their stay in Hyderabad, the group members were hosted by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, who was once associated with the Balochistan movement of the 1970s.

Talpur, 68, said "In Balochistan's current situation I’ve lost around 25 students so far in the province."

He will give them a send off at Hala in Matiari district rather than continue the journey till Islamabad.

The marchers, Mama Qadeer and Farzana Baloch claim that they are being threatened to end their march.

But they have decided to keep going come what may. The caravan will resume its journey to Islamabad from Thursday.

Pakistan has yet to sign UN’s International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance introduced in 2006.

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