Bangladesh: Protests held against killing of Pakistani activist Karima Baloch
Hundreds of members of the Bangladesh Muktijuddha Mancha gathered on Sunday at the foot of Raju sculpture adjacent to Teacher-Student Centre, University of Dhaka (TSC) to demonstrate against the assassination of Karima Baloch, a Pakistani human rights activist in exile in Canada.
Karima Baloch, a well-known human rights and political activist who took refuge in Canada after fleeing Pakistan in 2015 due to serious threats to her life in Balochistan, was found dead in Ontario Lake Toronto harbourfront on December 21 after she went missing the day before.
According to an official statement, Muktiyuddha Mancha, Central Committee President Aminul Islam Bulbul presided over the rally, which included Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, Former Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Sculptor Rasha, Poet Sardar Farooq, Dhaka University branch president Sonnet Mahmud, Dhaka Metropolitan North branch president Milon Dhali, general secretary Deen Islam Bappi and other leaders.
Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik said: “The killing of Karima Baloch, a female human rights activist in exile in Canada, has proved that the Pakistani government is a sponsor of terrorism and militancy. The Muslim genocide in Balochistan must be stopped. I demand exemplary punishment for those involved in the Baloch killings.”
Muktiyuddha Mancha said: “The ISI has carried out a well-planned assassination. The Bangladesh Liberation War Mancha strongly condemns and protests against the killing. We also express solidarity with the freedom struggle of the Balochistan Muslims. The movement for independence of the people of Balochistan is very logical. Pakistan has presented itself as a sponsor of terrorism and militancy in the recent assassination of Karima Baloch in Canada, an international crime against Pakistan for the genocide of Muslim massacre in Balochistan, and the murder of human rights activist Karima Baloch.”
“The Bengali world probably knows best how brutal, how inhuman and ruthless the torture of the Pakistani army can be. We have seen it from August 1947 to the last day of their reign in 1971. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the greatest Bengali nation of all time, was long persecuted by the Pakistani government. Almost three million people were martyred by the Pakistani forces and two lakh mothers and sisters lost their dignity,” he added.
Demanding justice for Karima Baloch, Muktiyuddha Mancha urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh to build an international public opinion on the activist’s killing in Canada and stopping of the Muslim genocide in Balochistan.
“Otherwise, Bangladesh Muktijuddha Mancha will soon announce a tougher program,” it said.
“The horrific massacre, rape, abduction, and looting of women by the Pakistani military and their Bangladeshi ally Razakar Albader Alshams during the nine-month armed liberation war of 1971 is an unprecedented incident in history. The hands of the Pakistani government and army are bloodied, their minds and behavior are cruel. I knew then that they considered the Bengalis as their only enemy. Balochistan was in favor of our liberation war so the torture of the Pakistani military is much more on them,” Sculptor Rasha said.
“People in Balochistan have been incited, trained and armed by Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency, the ISI, and mobilized against all progressive forces there. Farzana Majeed and Mama Qadeer led a long march from Quetta to the UN office in Islamabad demanding United Nations to force the Pakistani government to rescue the missing Baloch. Farzana’s brother himself has been missing for several years and at least 20,000 more Baloch have been subjected to the same torture. Of these, 6,000 Baloch were later brutally killed and their bodies were buried by helicopter. Mass graves have been excavated. Even after the Supreme Court of Pakistan commented on the matter, it was learned that even though the judges referred to the incident as “compulsory disappearance or abduction”, the government did not take any action to rescue them. Thousands of Baloch political leaders, human rights activists, Baloch civilians, and the general public are being targeted by security personnel and jihadists who are residents of Pakistan-occupied Balochistan. This kind of abduction has been going on in Balochistan since 1947 when the ruling group brutally occupied Balochistan,” Rasha added.
Poet Sardar Farooq said, “Religious extremist Pakistani army and terrorists have been jointly carrying out brutal torture to suppress the freedom movement of the Baloch people. They have been given lines when there is no obstacle to kill or rape any Baloch and school students are abducted, 13-year-old Majid Zehari’s decomposed body recovered Nadir Baloch’s tortured body on October 14, 2012, Wahid Baloch Baloch’s tortured and decomposed body recovered on April 2, 2012, The body of Khan Mari was recovered on February 8, 2011 (Mir Khan was 15 years old); the body of 18-year-old Arafat Baloch was recovered on October 7, 2011; The list of those tortured and rescued is too long, and Pakistan’s plans for the Balochistan genocide are being published day by day, and allegations of genocide there have now surfaced in the country’s media.”
He further said that according to the reports, bullet-riddled bodies of about 1,000 people have been recovered from Balochistan in the last six years. Which are mostly fragmented. Of these, 51 per cent are Baloch and 22 per cent are Pakhtuns. The bodies of Punjabi Afghan refugees were also found. Many dead bodies could not be identified. Islamabad adopted a national program last year to curb terrorist activity. The survey was brought forward by an official engaged in that work. More than 940 bodies have been recovered from different parts of Balochistan. Since 2010, 347 bodies have been recovered from several districts – 112 missing. In 2011, due to unrest in the area, the killings were carried out as planned. So far 1838 people were killed and about 4,000 were injured in communal riots in the last few years.
“Pakistan’s Punjabi army and fundamentalists are committing such horrible atrocities. The Balochs say that the Punjabis are torturing the Bengalis today as the Pak army did in 1971. They are students, lawyers, teachers, and politically conscious leaders and activists who have been the victims of these killings for decades. In protest, Farzana and thousands of other people marched on the longest march in history, starting from the Quarter Shawl area to the capital of Balochistan. From there they marched on the longest route from Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, and from Karachi to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, only to demand an end to that oppression. It was not allowed to be published in the Pakistani media. Even the Pakistani intellectuals who have expressed sympathy for the protesters have not been spared. Torture has reached its worst level today,” he added.