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KARACHI: Concern over missing BSO leaders

May 15, 2005


KARACHI, May 14: The family members of detained Baloch Students Organization leaders have expressed their concern for the safety of detainees who had been allegedly arrested by the government agencies in the early hours on March 25. At a press conference held here on Saturday at Karachi Press Club, the relatives of the detained BSO leaders said ever since the arrest of the detainees, they had made every effort to find out the whereabouts of the detainees but they could not locate them. Consequently, they said the court was approached to seek justice, but they regretted the detained leaders had not been produced.

An emotionally charged father of Dr Imdad Baloch, Noor Jehan Baloch, urged the government that if his son was alive, he should be produced before the court to face any charges and in case of death, his body may be handed over to him for burial. He assured the government that he would not take legal action against it on this count.

The relatives of the detainees have expressed their fear that the “continued disappearance” of the BSO leaders is the violation of human rights guaranteed in the Constitution and international human rights.

According to the Article-9 of the Constitution, it is the responsibility of the state to ensure safety of life and liberty of its citizens and whereas the Article-10 says that every detainee has the right to be informed of the charges against him/ her.

However, they deplored that the law of the land was not being applied so far, as the Balochs were being discriminated and treated as third grade citizens of the country. They said the attitude of the state agencies was causing a great resentment among the Baloch populace and unrest was brewing among them which could turn into social upheaval.

According to them, the BSO leaders who were arrested included Imdad Baloch, Yusuf Baloch, Dr Allah Baloch Nazar, Naseem Baloch, Nawaz Ali Gohar, Ghulam Rasool Baloch and Akhtar Nadeem.

To a question, they agreed that nationalist leaders had not seriously campaigned the case of detained leaders. However, they appreciated the efforts of some Baloch nationalist leaders.

Also present in the press conference were Salim Baloch of the Jamhoori Watan Party and Ghulam Mohammad Baloch of the Balochistan National Party.

On this occasion, copies of an appeal by the Amnesty International for the release of detained leaders were also distributed.