Apr 18, 2011

Balochistan: People Seeking Social Justice

Social security and welfare are constantly under question in Balochistan, since the Pakistani authorities do not respect the constitutional right to equal treatment for all citizens of Pakistan, and ignore human right violations of Baloch people.

Below is an article published by the International News: 

Family members of 23 missing persons arrived in Islamabad from Quetta 10 days back [April 4, 2011] with the hope of a breakthrough on recovery of their loved ones and that the president and prime minister may also express their solidarity with them by at least issuing a statement.

However, to their utter dismay, neither President Asif Ali Zardari nor Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani issued a statement upon their arrival in the federal capital or to even acknowledge their peaceful struggle to find a clue of their near and dear ones’ whereabouts.
Several of missing persons’ relatives, half of them females, during a chat with ‘The News’, had one major request: their spouses, brothers and sons, if had done anything wrong, they must be proceeded against according to the law of the land.
They requested the prime minister’s spouse to play her role in ending their compounding ordeal for she as a mother could better understand their distress. They were grateful to Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who sent his representative to their camp on Monday [April 11, 2011], who held out some assurances to them.
Most of the missing persons, according to their family members have a political background: they wondered as having political affiliation or to push for their rights a crime.
They complained no cabinet minister, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Minister for Human Rights Mian Raza Rabbani or the chairman National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights Riaz Husain Fatiana could spare time to visit their camp outside the National Press Club for a word of sympathy.
Prime Minister Gilani’s reception in honour of Pakistan cricket team did not go well with these worried souls and they lamented an elected premier had time for sportsmen but he could not spare some moments for them or utter some words in their support.
Asked why not they had sought an audience with Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani, they alleged he was like a government servant, having no real powers to protect dignity and honour of the people of the province.
“The civilian rulers can at least speak for us and try soothing our injured souls and hearts, as they claim to be the elected representatives of people,” quipped an aged man, who had braved agonising travel from Quetta to Islamabad.
According to vice-president of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, Qadeer Baloch, who is looking for his son Jalil Reki, central information secretary of Balochistan Republican Party: the youth was allegedly taken away by sleuths of a secret agency three years back. He said the NGO does not take funds from any government department or private firm and their campaign for the recovery of missing persons is being run by mutual contributions. They had set up a camp for eight months in Quetta and for nearly three months in Karachi.
Qadeer Baloch wondered what happened to Prime Minister Gilani’s promise to the people of Balochistan last year before Eidul Fitr that their loved ones would be among them to mark the auspicious occasion.
“If our loved ones are guilty, punish them or set them free immediately. We have faith in our courts. Let’s go by the land of the law,” emphasised the desperate-looking man in his early 60s.
“It appears, as if we are in a city of aliens of a foreign country. The treatment being meted out to us has no place in the Constitution, as the national document calls for equal treatment to all citizens of Pakistan,” said a veiled sister of one missing person.
Sisters of several missing persons, including Sameer Rindh, Sanaa Baloch, Sangat Sanaa, Zakir Majeed, Zafar Baloch, Abid Shah, Sattar Baloch, Master Safeer, Sami Mengal, Muhammad Yousaf and Zarina Marri are here while wife of (missing) Dr. Din Muhammad along with her eight-year-old daughter Mehlab have also made their way to the federal capital.

To read more please visit International News.