On the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, scores of people protested outside the Pakistan consulate in New York against the forceful abductions of people from the minority communities in Pakistan by its Army and intelligence.
“Today, we are here to protest against all those disappearances which the Pakistani army has enforced and the Pakistani intelligence has been carrying out for a long time. There are thousands of people including politicians, political workers and journalists who have been forcefully disappeared,” said Najeeb Khan, a Pashtun who lives in Balochistan.
“We are here at the Pakistan consulate to raise our voice. We want the world to know that Pakistan has become a huge prison for minority religions today,” he added during the protest on Sunday This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Declaration for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance,s and the 10th anniversary of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons against Enforced Disappearances.
Meanwhile, another protestor outside the Pakistan consulate here said that for the past two decades, Pakistan has been committing atrocities on the minority communities and the cases have been increasing rapidly.
“Before it was Balochistan, but now they have started in other regions of Pakistan. One of the major problems that we are facing is that we don’t have any access to information about the enforced disappearance happening in Pakistan,” he added.
He further said that close to 50,000 individuals have been disappeared by the Pakistani security forces and kidnapping and brutal killing of Baloch people was taking place in Balochistan on an everyday basis.
Speaking on the brutality being committed by Islamabad, a Pakistani journalist said: “I am here meet the people that have gathered to protest against the policy of Pakistan military who abducts people that don’t necessarily agree with their policies.”
He said, “There is a complete media blackout in Pakistan regarding these issues. The reporters are afraid to report on critical human rights issue which has been going on in the last 20 years, especially in the tribal areas. Its high time Pakistan should take notice of this situation because the world is taking notice.”
A similar protest was also held by the Sindhi Baloch Forum held a protest against Pakistan government, in front of UK Parliament in London.