AWP condemns intimidation of Baloch missing persons’ families

Press Release

Karachi: The Awami Workers Party (AWP) demands an immediate end to the harassment and intimidation of the activists and relatives of Baloch missing persons who have been participating in a sit-in for the last one week in Islamabad.

According to media reports and the protesters, the Islamabad police picked up 20 young men who attended the ongoing sit-in by the relatives of the missing persons at D Chowk near Parliament House.

They were detained at various police stations for six hours and warned against further participation in the sit-in. 

The AWP President Yousuf Mustikhan in a statement on Thursday said the “use of intimidatory tactics by the authorities completely belies their claims to be addressing the issue of enforced disappearances as expressed in statements made by a number of federal ministers, including Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Shireen Mazari.”

On the one hand, the government’s law minister and others met the protesters at the sit-in camp and assured them of a solution to the issue through dialogue, while on the other interior minister and Fawad Choudhry adds salt to the wounds of the aggrieved families through inflammatory statements.

Mr Mustikhan said that the principal demand of the Baloch families is a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan which, they insist, will be the only meaningful demonstration of political will by the government that it will provide information about and/or recover the missing persons.

The AWP calls upon the authorities, and the PM, in particular, to accede to the families’ request and halt all attempts to move them from D Chowk until their principal demand is met.