A symposium was organized by Irtaqa Institute for Social Sciences Karachi on 15 October, 2016. In that symposium participants expressed their concerns on issue of enforced missing people and violation of human rights in Pakistan.
In start General Secretary of Irtaqa Institute Kaleem Durrani presented brief introduction of Irtaqa Institute. “This institute reflects progressive point of view of intellectuals on changing situation in society. Today here are Hani Baloch and Mahin Baloch-daughters of enforced missing poet and writer Wahid Baloch- who are in constant struggle for release of her father since 26th July,2016”, he said.
“Their struggle once again issue of missing persons helped to bring in lime light and we pay tribute both of them for their courage and braveness. And they are both presiding over this symposium”, He added.
After inaugural speech made by Kaleem durrani, Hani Baloch made a speech. She said,” Enforced missing of our father Wahid Baloch has destroyed peace and calm of our whole house. A person who cannot see any person in pain has been missed since 26th July, 2016 and those are responsible for this missing are silent.”
“We are knocking doors of courts, Police stations and visiting again and again offices of lawyers but nobody is ready to hear our request. My mother are shocked and she is patient of hypertension. My grandmother is hospitalized and I could not muster up such courage to tell her truth”, she added more.
“ Here Human Right Commission for Pakistan, humanists, book lovers are not only supporting us but they are included in our struggle for release of my Baba(Father) Wahid Baloch and other missing persons. Symposium for Missing persons from institute like Irtaqa is sign of living humanity still in our society”, Hani Baloch said during her speech.
Hani regretted that when in Latin America Museum for commemorating of period of enforced missing persons are being erected, we are raising question: Why our papa Wahid Baloch was missed? But there is nobody here to reply us and no one here to tell us about alleged crime of our father. If my father committed any crime then what should my father to do for saving his life. Lessons of peace and brotherhood are given in schools and colleges here. Is that peace not to tell whereabouts my father? She questioned. Here are no democratic rights. I visit every place for justice but cannot find, she said.
Dr.Hafeez Jamali from Habib University said,
“Issue of missing persons has become issue of many people in Pakistan. Human rights are being violated and it is false to say that only militant Baloch people are enforced missing. Every Baloch has a missing which is either his/her class fellow or relative. Environment of fear is dominated in Baluchistan due to growing in number of missing persons. No young man in Baloch community, who do not see torture in dreams or he/she has not fear of enforced missing. When I was researching and collecting matter for my doctoral thesis then my observation was that in those days Baloch fishermen were frightened to go Karachi or come to Gawader city because fear of missing or picking up by intelligence agencies was in their mind. Dr.Hafeez praised much Hani Baloch and Mahin Baloch for their forthcoming for release of their enforced missing father and thus brave girls helped in breaking silence on issue of missing persons.”
Kashmiri student Jawad said,” Every Nation living in Pakistan is target of enforced missing and this is all happening due to demand for their rights from these nations. We will have to use every democratic way including through writing, making speeches, protest to make possible release of Wahid Baloch and this release will make possible more releases of missing persons in Pakistan.
Sartaj Khan, member of Revolutionary Socialist organization was also there along with his other comrades. His view was that in Pakistan, from Wazirstan to Karachi masses are being targeted of state campaign for capitalist occupation. So called development is state narrative and whoever raise voice against displacement, poverty, backwardness is declared at once traitor, terrorist and agent of state enemies.
“Issue of missing persons is also linked with capitalist developmental narrative of state”, comrade Sartaj added.
Political worker Praim Lal criticized funded oriented and project based non-governmental sector’s approach toward such issue and said that issue of missing of Wahid Baloch is a political issue and we cannot restricted it to just non political aspect. Project based NGO’s cannot run a political movement.
Rahat Saeed, a progressive writer and intellectual from Karachi said,
“Movement for release of Wahid Baloch, in fact is encouraging other families of missing persons. Release of Wahid Baloch is only way to stop enforced missing of people next. Intellectuals, Poets, writers cannot see massive violation of human rights and freedom for speech in society. This is desire of those evil forces which want to divide our society. Enforced missing is not civilized way to handle with alleged crimes and to protect the country. If Wahid Baloch is involved in any anti-state activity or in any other crime then a case should be registered against him and he should be produced in court.”
Human rights activist Abdulhai briefed the audience in symposium about details of human right violations in Pakistan. His view was that unlawful acts like picking up people and then missing them are being taken to frighten and terrorize the people active for human rights or challenging state narrative on different issues. When government set up a commission for enforced missing persons then Supreme Court disposed of all cases of enforced missing people and now this commission is working just in papers.”
Blogger and writer Asim Jan said,” Baloch, Sindhi, Urdu speaking , people from Gilgit-Baltistan,Kashmir and even from Punjab tenants are being picked up and now thousands of people are missing and state actors are involved in such extra-legal and unconstitutional acts. We will have to fight against this on larger scale.
Prominent activist of Democratic Students Federation-DSF Naghma Sheikh stressed on all nationalists, Marxists and democratic currents in all nations of Pakistan to become part of this movement for release of missing people in Pakistan till to achieve the target. We should adopt the message delivered by Hani Baloch today.
Baloch writer Imadad Hussain revealed worst situation of human rights in Lyari of Karachi. According to him there are thousands of residents of Lyari have been extra-Judicially killed or are now in list of enforced missing people. Mostly extra-judicial killing were of nationalist activists or political workers. People are so frightened that coaching centers have been closed. Many families were destroyed in the name of so called gang-wars. Victims are not only Baloch but some Sindhis also. He appreciated those persons and organizations who are raising voice for Wahid Baloch. He stressed on political workers and human rights activists to come Layari and collect evidences of genocide of people of Layari in Karachi. Wahid Baloch was a harmless not a celebrity but a small Baloch innocent writer and poet and he was picked up and now he is also in missing persons. In Layari such innocent children were slaughtered who ever chewed Pan along with.
Dr.Riaz Ahmad, teacher from Karachi University also made a speech in symposium. He said,
“To make people missing is to create fear among rights seeking people but when state of denial comes from those who do all this ,it means they are also coward and frightened people. They are aware of their guilt. Along with imperialists so called mega development projects our society has been facing murderous war and this war like situation we can give alternative face through stressing on right for speech and right to hear truth and right to bear it. This is only way to combat state and non-state barbarism. We should make fast movement for release of Wahid Baloch while contacting people through media and social media and grow our contacts each to other. “