June 13, 2022
Scores are currently staging a sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club to protest the alleged enforced disappearance of two Baloch students, Doda Ellahi and Gamshad Baloch, of Karachi University (KU).
Both men were picked up by security agencies from their homes on June 7, and their whereabouts remain unknown since. Their families have been protesting in the stifling Karachi heat for their immediate recovery for the past four days.
In an appeal uploaded to social media, Doda’s sister has urged the authorities to produce her brother in a court of law if he stands accused of committing a crime. The families of the missing youths have also filed a petition against their alleged abduction in a Karachi sessions court.
Police are scheduled to meet the aggrieved families today.
There has been a notable spike in cases of enforced disappearances of Baloch students across the country.
Hafeez Baloch, a student of the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad, was picked up by security forces from his hometown of Khuzdar in February. He was booked for terrorism weeks after his detention sans a first information report (FIR), and remains behind bars today.
Incidents of missing Baloch students reached an unprecedented high following a suicide bomb attack at KU by a Baloch separatist woman, identified as Shari Baloch, on April 26.
On April 27, Bebagar Imdad, a student of National University of Modern Languages (NUML) Islamabad, was picked up from a hostel of the Punjab University. He was later booked by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Karachi in connection to the KU attack. However, Imdad was released on May 10 after all charges against him were dropped.
Dr. Dildar Baloch, Fellow of College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) in Cardiology at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in Karachi was picked up on the same day as Bebagar, but was released after 24 hours of detention.
In May, a Baloch woman, Noor Jahan Baloch, was picked up from her hometown of Hoshab and was later produced in an anti-terrorism court (ATC), which accepted her bail application and ordered her release no May 23.
Baloch student activists have claimed that many more Baloch women have been picked up on suspicion of terrorism since the April 26 attack on KU, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
National and international rights organizations have decried the racial profiling of Baloch youth by security and law enforcement agencies, as well as increasing incidents of their enforced disappearance. They have urged the Government of Pakistan to end this inhumane practice and release all missing persons or produce them before a court of law.