QUETTA - Rallies and shutter down strikes were observed in different parts of Balochistan to mark ‘International Day of missing persons’ on Thursday.

Dozens of workers of Balochistan National Party (Mengal) holding placards and banners inscribed with different demands staged a demo in front of Quetta Press Club to express solidarity with the relatives of missing persons.

They appealed to UN for playing its active role in recovery of Baloch missing persons.

Addressing the demo, BNP leader Aghan Hassan Baloch, Dr Faiz Hashimi of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and others strongly criticised the government over the issue of missing persons.

“Thousands of youth were forcibly disappeared who are languishing in torture cells and later their bullet-riddled bodies are thrown away” they said, adding, that more than 400 bodies of Baloch youth had been found dumped in different parts of Balochistan.

They rejected the claims of Interior Minister and other authorities that missing persons were in foreign countries, saying the apex court of the country had also made responsible these authorities for disappearing of youth in Balochistan. “Intelligence agencies and establishment are throwing bodies of Baloch youth by showing their power and the series of throwing bodies is still continuing,” they stated. BNP leaders said that those who were sitting in the Assemblies were not the real representatives of the Baloch rather then they were killers and criminals.

They appealed to UN and other international organisations to play their active role in the recovery of missing persons and exert pressure on government to recover missing persons.

According to Voice For Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), an organisation striving for the recovery of missing persons claims that the number of missing persons is in thousands while more than 400 bodies of missing persons had been recovered since Jun 2010 till date.

VBMP has also established a token hunger strike camp outside Quetta Press Club for the past 887 days and some political observes suggest that this token hunger strike for the recovery of missing persons is the longest ever protest. Meanwhile, on the call of Baloch Student Organisation (BSO-Azad) a shutter-down strike was observed in Makran division and rallies were taken out to mark the day.

All the main shopping centers and markets in Panjgour, Pasni, Turbat and other towns of Makran remained closed throughout the day. The strike was also observed in Hub.

Local administration has taken strict security measures to avoid any untoward incident.