As the Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Adha with friends and family, the Baloch families marched on roads in search of justice. Families of the Baloch missing persons carried out demonstrations in Quetta, Karachi and Gwadar for the safe release of their loved ones – young girls looking for their fathers, sisters looking for their brothers and mothers searching for their sons. In the federal capital Islamabad, Baloch students carried out a peace walk, carrying placards, banners and picket signs bearing the portraits of their missing fellow students and asked for justice.

In Karachi, the families of the Baloch missing persons are protesting for over two weeks, asking for the recovery of their loved ones. Student bodies, human rights groups, political activists and social workers visited the camp to express solidarity with the protestors. The protestors include the family members of the missing Abdul Hafeez Zehri, Muhammad Imran, Shoukat Baloch and Nor Baksh Baloch. The families of missing Saeed Umar, who was released Tuesday, and Shoaib Azam were also among the protestors.

The family members of Shoaib Azam held a press conference in Turbat a few days ago and said that he was detained by the Pakistani forces from Hawke’s Bay area in April. However, the Sindh government claims that he was arrested by the forces due to his involvement in the Karachi University attack in April which left three Chinese nationals dead. They claim that Shoaib Azam is among the four alleged perpetrators of the attack. But his family says that he is being framed on false and baseless charges.

The families of the Baloch missing persons demand the safe release of their loved ones. These families also met with officials of the Sindh government and asked for the release of the missing persons picked up from Karachi. The officials assured them that their loved ones will soon return home, but these promises are yet to be entertained.

As Baloch families protest in Karachi for the recovery of their loved ones, another young Baloch man was picked up from the neighbouring city of Hub Chowki. According to family sources, Faisal Baloch s/o Hasil Khan was picked up by the forces during a raid on his house.

Commenting on the issue of enforced disappearances, activist Mahrang Baloch said that no one can feel the pain and agony of the Baloch families who are longing for their loved ones to return. She also shared the video of Zarina Baloch, the wife of missing Shabbir Baloch, who broke into tears during the protest on Eid day. She said that Baloch women are spending their lives in protest camps in Quetta and Karachi. They have lost their individual identity – they are now nothing more than the
sister or wife of this or that missing person.

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