Some influential human rights activists, writers and artists expressed concern over the enforced disappearance of Wahid Baloch in a press conference at the Karachi Press Club today, November 25.
Wahid is a Baloch literary figure, who was abducted 120 days ago, on July 26 this year, near Toll Plaza around Karachi’s suburbs while on his way back from Sindh.
Chairperson Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Zohra Yusuf, classical dancer Sheema Kirmani, Wahid’s young daughter Hani Wahid were among those who addressed the press conference.
“Wahid Baloch is a writer and literary figure. We are extremely concerned over his safety. We demand he should be released as soon as possible,” they said, according to a press release issued after the press briefing.
Hundreds of Baloch political activists, writers, educationists, human rights defenders and students have fallen victim to enforced disappearances, a phenomenon started after 2000s with the beginning of a separatist insurgency in Balochistan.
Victims — often called ‘missing persons’ — human rights organizations like the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and Pakistan’s own Supreme Court have blamed Pakistan’s security forces for their involvement in enforced disappearances. They deny.
Since 2009, most ‘missing persons’ have turned out to be dead, their tortured and bullet-riddled bodies found dumped in desolate places.
Wahid’s daughter has issued several pleas for her father’s release.
Because of his passion for books, Wahid is sometimes referred to as a bookman.
Those who addressed the press conference acknowledged his dedication to publication of books and human rights activism.
“Those who kidnapped Wahid Baloch from Toll Plaza must have some misunderstanding. Those who can harm the state and its institutions would have no interest in literature, culture and humanity. The freedom of expression is not only every human’s basic right but its promotion is an important human quality,” they told journalists.
A number of writers, artists, human rights activists and others also signed a petition demanding Wahid’s urgent release.