The journey towards hope
By Agha Jahanzaib Baloch
The recent Long March started by the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons is currently led by the human rights campaigner in Balochistan Mama Qadeer Baloch. The Voice for Missing Persons was formed by the families of missing persons on 27th September, 2009, with the sole objective of seeking the safe recovery of their enforced disappeared family members, since the horizon of the organization and its members have been striving for the safe recovery of missing persons. In spite of several threats given by the state elements, even the camp of the missing persons was once destroyed but they still stuck to their guns with great zeal. They had held hundreds of protests and set on hunger strikes in the capital heart of Balochistan Quetta, taken out number of rallies for raising the voice against the injustices of their rights made by state elements, in Balochistan. They had knocked at all the doors of the state institutions including countries’ largest law institution the Supreme Court of Pakistan, but they had been disappointed from institutions, because of the involvement of anti Baloch elements in the issue of missing persons. Having got disappointed from the performance of these institutions, The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons decided to start a unique way of protesting by launching a Long March from Quetta to Karachi along with the family members of Missing Persons.
The protestors had to travel the long distance by foot, since the beginning of the Long March from Quetta to Karachi, the protestors courageously passed through various districts of Balochistan, in every district they were warmly welcomed and joined hand to hand by victimized families of missing persons. The families of missing persons were trying to let the world know what is happening in Balochi-stan. They tried to focus the attention of international media to highlight the issue on international criteria, but it was quite unfortunate that our news hungry media seems least impressed by Balochistan’s immense news value, In spite of giving importance to fulfill the dreams of Baloch missing persons, they are conducting talk shows on sister Malala but we have no regret with her. The families of missing persons are quite courageous to carry on their mission with great zeal. As the little girl NAZIA is quite frantic that one day she is gone discover her LALA ZAFAR and enjoy a normal life on this planet but the biggest obstacle between her hopes as similar with other families are the anti Baloch elements.
These missing persons family members have also gone missing from all happy occasions of life, this group comprises of young Baloch kids who have gone missing from their schools for several hundred days, because they have had to abandon their studies in order to sit in the hunger strike camp to demand the recovery of their loved ones. Unlike the rest of the normal kids of the province who are dropped to their schools by their parents and picked on time but the case is quite different regarding to these victimized kids, who had to protests for their missing family members in front of the Quetta Press club and hold the pictures of their beloved ones, every day they are hoping to discover their missing family members. These kids are committed and motivate to each other that not to give up their hopes, but none of us realize what is going on with them, but we do not realize that we all have a collective responsibility to resurface these missing persons and bring them back to their normal life.
The state media indeed disgraced itself by stay on the side of human right abuses, while the Long March conveys a clear message to the provincial and federal governments and the media as well that the issue of missing persons is not an ordinary one, it is emerged has one of the nerve penetrating issue for the state. Which will not fade away only by diverting the media from covering it? The missing persons issue requires urgent attention from international community as well as from the federal government to take it seriously in order to regain the hopes of missing persons.
Therefore, it is the moral responsibility of the United Nation and international community to step in and to help the Baloch nation to regain their lost hope. The United Nation must penetrate its nerve to resolve the issue; otherwise it will create ashes between both the parties. The dormant policy does not suit the UN like a spectator and would be a challenging question on the existence of the privileged in the world.