The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) briefed the United Nation’s Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) on 19th February 2021, during the 123rd session of the Working Group. In a virtual meeting with the group, Qambar Malik, the Information Secretary of BHRC briefed the members on the plight of thousands of disappeared persons in Balochistan.
The meeting was chaired by the Chair-Rapporteur Mr. Tae-Ung Baik, while other members of the Working Group Ms. Aua Balde, and members from the WGEID Secretariat also attended the meeting. The working group was given a detailed presentation by the BHRC representative about the Baloch conflict with Pakistan that has resulted in the enforced disappearances of thousands of Baloch dissidents. The BHRC representative outlined the patterns and methods of enforced disappearances employed by the state authorities. He maintained that although Balochistan records the highest numbers of cases, cases of enforced disappearances are also common in Sindh and KPK provinces.
BHRC representative informed the Working Group members that the victims of the enforced disappearances include people from all walks of life and of all ages and gender. Many of these victims were tortured to death and their mutilated bodies were dumped in Balochistan and Sindh, whereas, the majority remain detained incommunicado. The members of the Working Group were briefed that the families of the victims of enforced disappearance who are not a direct party to the conflict suffer the consequences, who have resorted to unceasing protests after exhausting nearly all legal remedies.
The WGEID members were informed that despite documented evidence of the involvement of the state security forces in the crimes against humanity, the perpetrators of these crimes enjoy impunity.
Sammi Baloch, daughter of the forcibly disappeared Dr. Deen Muhammad, and Seema Baloch, sister of forcibly disappeared Shabbir Baloch provided testimonies about the disappeared members of their families and talked about the derogatory remarks by the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (COIED) a few days ago. The Working Group also heard testimony by a Baloch victim of Enforced Disappearance who shared his predicament of illegal detention and torture in Pakistan.
The WGEID expressed grave concern upon hearing the testimonies and took a special interest when the case of Hani Gul’s disappearance along with many others was highlighted by the BHRC representative.
The members of the WGEID assured that they continue to closely monitor the situation in Pakistan and particularly in Balochistan. They asserted that WGEID will provide as much as possible assistance to the families in communicating their cases to the Pakistan Government.