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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Missing persons: A hidden tragedy

There is no end to the acts of hidden hands that are playing the role of judge, jury and executioner themselves with no right of defence to the victim whatsoever, and justify it all in the name of national security and well being of people. Believe it or not, there is no trace of two Baloch students, who were picked up on November 1 from the university of Balochistan. Both students are promising students and they are allegedly facing the wrath of security agencies while the university administration is playing the role of a silent spectator.

The fact that there had been no letup in cases of missing Baloch persons is a cause for concern. There are numerous cases that remain unsolved as mystery shrouds these abductions, allegedly done by security agencies. Statistics regarding the missing persons from Balochistan, Sindh and other restive areas are appalling. Reportedly, estimates of the number of disappeared in Balochistan are between hundreds and several thousand. Balochistan is definitely facing an insurgency but it is not the kind of terrorism we are seeing in areas bordering Afghanistan. It cannot be eliminated through heavy-handed tactics like alleged forced disappearances.

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The situation calls for a thorough introspection by the concerned authorities. Young scholars are the future of Pakistan and by making them subject to inhuman treatment, no one is safeguarding the country’s interests. The policy of picking up persons on the pretext of crushing dissent can create more chaos in society. In a sovereign state, all citizens are equal and under the constitution they are entitled to their views. The piling up of missing persons’ cases calls for direct intervention of the government. The government needs to take charge of the situation and rescue these poor souls whose recovery remains a dream. Moreover, civil society and organisations like the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Amnesty International need to raise their voice against these alleged illegal acts of security agencies. It is hoped that the case of Baloch students does not fall in the category of those missing persons who have not been recovered yet and have been either killed or are languishing in hidden places on the pretext of so-called national interests.



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