RAWALPINDI  - Mama Qadeer Baloch, who is leading the long march for the recovery of Baloch missing persons, said that approximately 1,500 persons were killed and more than 18,000 were still missing from country’s largest province and the figure included 170 females and 169 children.

“1500 mutilated bodies of the missing persons had been received which was an open violation of the human rights. I believe that the rest 18,000 have also been killed and buried in the similar kind of mass graves in the province that was found in Khuzdar,” he said.

The forceful disappearance of innocent Baloch people attained a new peak during PPP regime and earlier in Musharraf’s rule. “The then federal interior minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao stated in 2005 that as many as 6,000 Balochis were in government’s detention centres,” he added.

Mama said, “I have no trust in the government and just want the intervention of United Nations (UN) and world human rights organisation to come forward to unveil the killing and dumping policy of our intelligence agencies.”

Mama Qadeer expressed these while talking to media men after the long march participants reached the city on Thursday. It was the 160th day of the journey that started from Quetta, Capital of Balochistan on October 23 last year. The march is scheduled to culminate in Islamabad.

The other participants of the long march of “Voice for Missing Balochis” included women and children whose fathers, brothers and cousins were either killed or missing since long, were holding banners inscribed with slogans reads as “Wake up UN”, “Stop genocide of Balochis”, “We seek justice for Balochis”. Members of civil society and locals also joined the march when it reached Rawalpindi Soan Bus Terminal.

Mama Qadeer Baloch said the forceful disappearances surged after PPP government coming into power. He said that during Musharraf’s rule, his interior minister claimed that government detained 6,000 Balochis in detention centres. He said that our intelligence agencies have been playing havoc with Balochis and urged the UN and other international human rights organizations to help the victims.

“We will present a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) and stage a sit-in outside UN Office in Islamabad,” he said.

Farzana Majid Baloch, another speaker, said that the government was not paying attention to the protest against the operation in Balochistan and for the recovery of missing persons. She said, “How will you feel if your brother or son is picked up without any crime and then you found his mutilated body.” She said that they would continue protest till the safe recovery of missing persons.

Many other marchers said that they were being harassed and threatened by the government and its functionaries to call up the march but we ignored the threats and kept walking during harsh weather.  Zubair Baloch, a marcher, said that those who thought after losing so many sons, brothers and children we would sit peacefully were actually living in fools’ paradise.

Another marcher, while holding a placard reads as “Stop genocide of Balochis”, said that the LEAs barred them many time from entering in cantonment areas and utilised their all energies to push them back besides giving them threats of dire consequences. The participants of long march will stay in Rawalpindi and then proceed towards federal capital today (Friday) what they termed “City of stone-heart rulers”.