International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons coordinator Aziz Baloch, Journalist and Writer Jahanzeb Hussain, as well as a diverse group of Human Rights Defenders from the South Asian Community and Activists in Canada held a protest rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia yesterday to raise awareness of the ongoing campaign of extra judicial killings and enforced abductions in Balochistan. Participants showed their solidarity for the #SaveBSOAzadLeader campaign for the release of extra judicially abducted BSO-Azad Student Leader Zahid Baloch. IVBMP demonstrators and activists called upon the Canadian Government, Prime Minister Harper, the United Nations, and the entire international community to condemn Pakistan’s policy of enforced abductions and play a role in the safe release of the abducted BSO-Azad student leader Zahid Baloch.
IVBMP coordinator Aziz Baloch highlighted the disgraceful state of education in Balochistan, and described how the Pakistan government has systematically oppressed the Baloch people through depriving them of adequate education. By depriving Baloch youth from attaining meaningful education, the Pakistan administration effectively prevents Indigenous Baloch citizens from obtaining significant and influential careers.
“When General Musharraf began development of Gawadar port in 2002, over 3000 immigrant workers were brought in from Punjab & Sindh provinces because the local Baloch population lacked sufficient education” – IVBMP coordinator Aziz Baloch
“In 1979, During General Zia era who received billions of dollars from US (Reagan Administration) for Mujaheedin (holy worriers) to defeat former USSR in Afghanistan I was a student that time in Quetta. Dictator Zia used all US aid; started opening thousands religious school across Balochistan to counter our secular Baloch national struggle. This Pak- state propaganda is nothing new against Baloch national struggle.” – IVBMP coordinator Aziz Baloch
People from all walks of life attended the demonstration. Many Canadians were amazed and intrigued when they learned about the historic 72 year old Mama Qadeer’s 2500km march from Quetta to Islamabad and 22 year old Lateef Johar’s ongoing #HungerStrikeTillDeath . The Canadian public expressed their support and showed an eagerness to learn more about the ongoing human rights abuses in Balochistan.