LAHORE:The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is alarmed by reports of a fresh wave of enforced disappearances in Balochistan and the rest of the country, including most recently, Hafeez Baloch, a postgraduate student at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.

In a statement here on Thursday, the commission said Mr Baloch allegedly disappeared while in Khuzdar, where he volunteers at a local school. Reports suggest that he was abducted in front of his students. The sheer brazenness of this act underscores the increasing impunity accorded to perpetrators. Mr Baloch must be recovered immediately and the perpetrators identified and held accountable.

Regrettably, the government’s earlier pledge to criminalise enforced disappearances continues to ring hollow. Two students at Balochistan University were allegedly disappeared last November, but an extended sit-in by students at the university was met with little more than vague assurances that they would be recovered.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2022

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