Balochistan: Protestors block CPEC Highway after enforced disappearance of elderly man

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Balochistan [Pakistan], January 31: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Highway in Balochistan was blocked after a case of enforced disappearance came to the fore. Baloch activist Mahrang stated that his family has blocked the CPEC route and demanded his release.
Mahrang Baloch accused Pakistan’s Frontier Corps officers of threatening and beating the protestors. She added that the missing man’s family have continued the protest. In the picture shared by Baloch on social media platform X, people could be seen blocking the road to protest the enforced disappearance of man.
In a post on X, Mahrang Baloch stated, “Another case of enforced disappearances in #Balochistan . Wahid Bux, a resident of Kech, has been abducted from his home. His family’s has blocked the CPEC route, demanding justice and his release.FC officers have threatened and beaten the protesters and the family but the family has continued their protest.”
The missing man has been identified as Wahid Bakhsh, from Balochistan’s Kech district. Pakistani forces allegedly forcibly disappeared an elderly man from Kech on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
The man was allegedly forcibly disappeared in a house raid carried out by Pakistani forces in Sami on the outskirts of Turbat city of Kech. After the incident, family members of the missing man and local residents blocked the M-8 CPEC highway near Sami and demanded his safe recovery.
During the sit-in on the highway, a large number of Pakistani forces surrounded the protesters and brandished guns and during this time there was a scuffle while the forces reportedly tried to whisk another youth away.
During the sit-in on the highway, a large number of Pakistani forces surrounded the protesters and brandished guns. During this time, a scuffle erupted between two sides and the forces reportedly tried to whisk another youth away, The Balochistan Post reported.
On Friday, a young man identified as Bahadur Chakar was allegedly forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces after a sit-in on the same highway. The youth was handed over to the family after successful negotiations between the district administration and the victim’s family on Monday.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a written statement submitted by the Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC), highlighting the increasing cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan in recent years.
The statement has been sent online and will be addressed during the 55th session (February 26-April 5) of the UN Human Rights Council.
BHRC has submitted the statement under Agenda Item 4 through the Centre for Gender Justice and Women Empowerment, a non-governmental organization with special consultative status at the UN.
The statement focused on the escalating crisis of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan, citing the number of cases verified in the year 2023.
In the statement, BHRC stated, “In 2023, 506 individuals were subjected to enforced disappearances in Balochistan. Shockingly, Pakistani security forces extrajudicially killed 47 of the missing persons. The number of forcibly disappeared individuals from January 2022 to December 2022 was 367, indicating a significant increase in such cases last year.”
“The crimes against humanity in Balochistan have deeply impacted the lives of nearly every family. The families of the victims endure the trauma of their members’ disappearances. Furthermore, these families encounter harassment, intimidation, and physical threats or attacks when they report or speak out against enforced disappearances,” it added.
In the statement, the BHRC expressed concern over the treatment of Baloch protesters in Islamabad. It mentioned about the recent public speeches by Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister, Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, labelling victims of enforced disappearances as ‘terrorists’ and threatening those sympathizing with the affected families, underscore Pakistan’s unwillingness to address the issue and its blatant disregard for human rights and international laws, without any fear of accountability.

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