An adjournment motion, to discuss the plight of the long marchers by the’ Voice of Missing Baloch Persons’, was submitted with the Senate secretariat Wednesday by Senators Farhatullah Babar of the PPP and Afrasiab Khattak and Zahid Khan of the ANP.
The adjournment motion seeks to discuss the “harassment, intimidation and threats to the lives’ of the participants of the long march while passing through Punjab on their way to Islamabad to highlight the issue of increasing incidents of kidnappings of Baloch nationalists and dumping of dead bodies,” as per the petition.
The long march started from Quetta to Karachi in October last year with a view to drawing attention to the issue is now continuing to Islamabad. The participants of the long march, about a dozen families of missing persons, have complained of harassment and intimidation by the security agencies in Gujranwala to stop them from proceeding to Islamabad.
Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the Human Rights Committee of the Senate in its last meeting had decided to meet the long marchers on arrival in Islamabad to highlight the urgency of addressing the issue of missing persons in the country particularly in Balochistan. He said that the march has not received the media attention it deserved from the national and international media.
Farhatullah Babar said that the Commission on the Enforced Disappearances, the superior courts, the lawyers community and the civil society have been calling for legislation that gives powers to the security agencies to arrest and detain suspects but also make them accountable for excesses, enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings. However, no such legislation has yet been made.
The organisation of ‘Voice of Baloch Missing Persons’ was formed a few years ago when its leader Mama Qadeer Baloch brought the family members of missing persons on a platform in Quetta to speak up about the issue and call upon the media and government to investigate.