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Human Rights & Wrongs, Inhumane…

She had exposed the atrocities of the Pakistani Army in Balochistan at the Global Stage and perhaps, it has become the reason of her death in Canada, which is still shrouded in mystery! The Canadian Officials found the body of famous Social Worker and Human Rights Activist from Pakistan Karima Mehrab, popularly known as Karima Baloch (37), off the coast of Harbourfront on December 21, 2020. The family members of Karima – a vocal critic of the Government of Pakistan who had actively worked to highlight Human Rights Violations perpetrated upon people in Balochistan, and was living in exile in Canada for about five years – filed a missing person complaint at a local Police Station in Toronto after she had gone missing on December 20. Several organisations, demanding an Independent Balochistan, have claimed that the Government of Pakistan and the Armed Forces took an active part in the assassination of Karima, with the help of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI, the premier intelligence agency of Pakistan, operationally responsible for gathering, processing, and analysing National Security-related information from around the world). While these organisations have urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban the ISI, Hammal Haidar, the husband of late Karima Baloch, has demanded an inquiry into her death, and the threats she had been receiving.

Karima Baloch

Although the exact cause of her death is not yet known, the Baloch National Movement has announced 40 days of mourning. Karima, one of the eminent Social Workers of Balochistan, had joined Politics after becoming a member of Balochistan Students Organisation (Azad). Apart from leading the Organisation, she called for an Independent Balochistan to emerge from the clutches of Pakistan. She had also served as the first female Chairperson of the Baloch Students Organisation. After the abduction of the then leader of the organisation, Zahid Baloch; she became the leader of the Balochistan Students Organisation (Azad). On March 15, 2013, the Government of Pakistan banned the Baloch Students Organisation, terming it a Militant Outfit

Since 2015, Karima had been fleeing from the Pakistani Army and the Government of her country. She, finally, managed to leave Balochistan in 2016 with the help of some of her friends and Baloch Social Workers. She fled to Canada amid threats, after campaigning for Balochistan’s separation from Pakistan. Also in 2016, BBC had included Karima in their BBC 100 Women 2016 list for her work, involving “campaigns for Independence for Balochistan from Pakistan”.

Despite being forced to leave her place of birth, Karima remained vocal in her demand for an Independent Balochistan till the last day of her life! In 2016, she had reportedly urged Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, through a video message, to speak out against war crimes committed by the Pakistani Armed Forces in Balochistan. Addressing Prime Minister Modi as her brother, she had stated: “Countless brothers are missing. Sisters in Balochistan are still waiting for their brothers to return. There is a possibility that they will never return and their sisters will always lie in wait. We appeal to you that as our Brother, you speak about the genocide and war crimes in Baloch on international forums and become the voice of the sisters of Baloch.

In May 2019, Karima brought sensational allegations against the Government of Imran Khan in Islamabad. She claimed that Pakistan isolated Balochistan from the outside world in order to carry out genocide, and to take away the last bit of human resources from the region. She further spoke out against Pakistani atrocities at the UN General Assembly in Geneva.

Karima’s death is, indeed, a great loss for the Baloch National Movement, as the people of Balochistan have lost a visionary leader. In her absence, it may become easier for Pakistan to hide its inhuman activities in its largest province in terms of land area, forming the south-western region of the South Asian country…

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