Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Abduction of activist Zahid Baloch highlights Balochistan plight

Latif Johar (C), 23, sits in a camp during a hunger strike demanding the release of Zahid Baloch outside Karachi's Press Club on 5 May 2014Pakistani activist and Baloch nationalist Zahid Baloch was abducted earlier this year and his whereabouts remain unknown. The BBC's Shahzeb Jillani, who interviewed him six months before his abduction, reports on the case.  In Karachi's sweltering summer heat, at a protest camp outside the city's main press club, Lateef Gohar, a young man in his early 20s, is lying stretched out on a footpath. Sitting next to him are a few colleagues, mostly women with their faces half-covered in their traditional headscarves. Mr Gohar has refused food since 22 April. With every passing week, he is losing weight and his health is deteriorating. The hunger strike is to protest against the alleged abduction of a nationalist student leader, Zahid Baloch, by Pakistani security forces.  Mr Baloch, who heads the separatist Baloch Student Organisation (Azad), was picked up in a security raid in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, on 18 March.  Soldiers from an official paramilitary force, the Frontier Corps, are said to have held him at gunpoint. He was blindfolded and his hands tied behind his back. He was then pushed into a vehicle by men in plain clothes thought to be from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), say his colleagues.
READ MOREhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-27466251

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