The international Day of Disappeared and the missing Balochs – by Imtiaz Baloch

The International Day of the Disappeared on August 30 is an annual commemoration day created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives or legal representatives. In Balochistan, since 2005 there had been more than 8000 enforced disappearances including women and children under the age of twelve years and currently over 1100 documented Baloch political activist are held in incommunicado by Pakistani Army. Balochistan is a Texas sized state occupied by Pakistan and Iran. This is the fifth uprising by the Baloch populace against the Pakistani Regime for Baloch nationhood.

The day of June 8th, 2009, was the last time when the family saw Zakir Majeed. The security personnel of Pakistani Army in the presence of   Zakir’s two friends forcibly abducted Zakir on a gun point and whisked him away from Mastung Balochistan to an unknown destination. Since then the family and the Baloch nation had no reliable news about Zakir’s fate.  Zakir’s family and Baloch nation have been left at the mercy of the anguished torments and worse imaginations.

Young and Vibrant Zakir Majeed is the Senior Vice Chairman of Baloch Student Organization (AZAD).  Mr Zakir Majeed, a student of M.A in the University of Balochistan and a charismatic leader whose life was one of constant travel, moving from one town to another to organize BSO on the gross root level and educating the Baloch youth about the plight of Baloch Nation. Zakir continually expanded his organizational reach and was very effective amongst Baloch Youth.  Mr Zakir Majeed is not the only one, according to Balochistan Based (VBMP)Voice for Baloch Missing persons and newly formed Sweden based International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (IVBMP), since 2005 there had been more than 8000 enforced disappearances including women and children under the age of twelve years. According to IVBMP, currently, there over 1100 documented Baloch political activist who are victims of enforced disappearances, abduction, tortured and imprisonment incommunicado.

The Perpetrators of enforced disappearances, the Pakistani Army systemically executing the leading Baloch Intellectuals and leadership through its Securities Agencies, local paramilitary arm and its affiliated death squads such as Baloch Mussalha Defah Tanzeem, Sapah-e-Shuda, and Insar- ul Islam etc. It seems, the evil set design of Pakistani military establishment, to systemically eliminate Baloch leading political cream is entering into a second phase, where the nucleolus of the political parties, trade unions, journalists, doctors, teachers, poets, lawyers and student are being forcefully disappeared and within twenty days their dead bodies are found with the marks of brutal tortures.  For the last few weeks the Pakistani Killing machine had intensified and Baloch are shocked over the extreme cases of execution of the political workers, while the said victims were the victims of enforced disappearances. Almost every victim has bullet holes in their heads. This week two political workers’ bullet-riddled bodies, later on identified as  Mohammad Omer Baloch and Arz Mohammad Pirkani, both resident of  Quetta, Balochistan were found. According to the families of these innocent victims, both were abducted 20 days ago by the Pakistani intelligence agencies. This brought the total into 14 into two weeks.

This despicable and cutthroat set plan is outright genocide. These illegal acts against Baloch nation is set in the context of Pakistani repression, demonstrating that Pakistan’s election to the UN human rights council is far from being deserved.

Zakir Majeed, Ehsan Arjmandi and Din Mohammad Baloch’s case were picked up by Asian Human Rights Organisation(AHRC) and were submitted to the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) and to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Disappearances.

Ehsan Arjemandi

On August 07, 2009,  Mr Ehsan Arjemandi , a Norwegian Baloch Human Rights Activist , was forcefully abducted by the state intelligence services while Mr Arjmandi was on a visit to his mother in Balochistan. This victim of enforced disappearance was picked up in front of several people by the security personnel on a gun point in a  car with  registration number  ADN6928. On  July 25, 2010, in an interview to a Norwegian journalist the Interior Minister Reham Malik blatantly agreed to Mr Arjmandi’s arrest. Since 2009, this is the first time that Pakistani establishment had agreed to Mr. Arjmandi’s arrest. During all this time Mr. Arjmandi was never produced to any court of Law. He is in prison in incommunicado. This completely manifest the mindset of Pakistani establishment towards the Baloch enforced disappeared political workers. Here’s the link is the interview of the Journalist with Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

After the brutal discredited military regime of Retired General Musharraf, the Pakistan Army yielded power to a civilian government.  Zakir Mothers hopes were temporarily elevated by the announcement of the civilian government that Mr. Zakir Majeed along with thousands of other disappeared political workers would emerge from the darkness of their secret cell. On January 22, 2010, after the UN intervention, Pakistani establishment announced Zakir Majid’s release and said he will be celebrating EID with his family. But there is only a terrible silence from the Government of Pakistan since then, the family is still awaiting for Zakir return. A week from today there is another Eid. And, God Knows how many more Eid Baloch Natnion had to wait for its loved ones to arrive home safely.

Zakir’s Family is trying to raise the profile of the disappeared people in Balocistan, waged a token hunger strike which is entering today into his 109th day.  The health condition of his mother is worsening due to the constant crying and waiting for his sons. The family approached the government’s authorities to locate Zakir’s whereabouts, filed a constitutional petition in Balochistan High Court and in Supreme Court but Pakistani secret agencies work under no civilian authority and are not accountable to any court of law and institution.

It is suspected that Zakir had been killed by the security forces as they had done with other missing Baloch political leaders like Ghulam Muhammad Baloch and others.

There is a saying in Balochi that Baloch mothers always gave birth to children with courage. Today, on the International Day of the Disappeared please join hands with Baloch against the atrocities of Pakistani Security agencies on the Baloch populace. Today, get together and cry freedom for the oppressed nationalities of the world. Today, come and scram along, with the family of disappeared Baloch to  end all enforced disappearances and demand to  reveal the fate and whereabouts of all persons subjected to enforced disappearance.



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