Candlelit vigil for the Baloch
LAHORE: Designating the World Human Rights Day, which fell on Saturday, as a day for the rights of Baloch people, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan held a candlelit vigil.
Distributing leaflets among people, the HRCP informed the public that 107 cases of enforced disappearance had been reported in Balochistan in 2011, and the ‘missing persons’ were increasingly turning up dead. Bodies of at least 225 ‘missing persons’ had been recovered from various parts of the province since July 2010, it said.
“To make the matter worse, not a single person has been held for these disappearances and killings. The situation is particularly grave for non-Muslims and minority Muslim sects. As many as 80 members of the Shia Hazara community have been killed in the province this year alone, for no reason other than their religious belief,” according to the commission.
It condemned the targeted killing of teachers, intellectuals and non-Baloch ‘settlers’ in Balochistan and called upon all political elements (in the province) to play their role in ending such callous acts of violence.
“The precarious situation is further compounded by targeting human rights defenders in the province by various parties to the simmering conflict, making access to reliable information on the situation all the more difficult. The murder of two HRCP activists and three journalists in the province in 2011 signifies the dangers those highlighting human rights violations face on a daily basis.”
The participants urged the government to take immediate and meaningful measures to ensure human rights for all people in Balochistan, including their right to life, justice, peace, progress, control over their resources and democratic management of their affairs.