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Angry Pakistan cricket fans tear down anti-Pak posters outside Lord's stadium

News Agencies | Updated on: 24 June 2019, 9:08 IST
Angry Pakistan cricket fans

A group of Pakistani cricket fans tore down posters and banners put up by Baloch activists outside Lord's Cricket stadium highlighting the deplorable human right conditions in Pakistan.

The incident took place on Sunday outside Lord's cricket ground during the match between South Africa and Pakistan in London. This while, Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa was watching the match along with other officials in the stadium.

The angry fans also shouted slogans "Long Live Pakistan Army".

Baloch Republican Party and World Baloch Organisation were organising a protest to highlight the pathetic human rights condition in Pakistan.

Protestors distributed leaflets outside the stadium, where Pakistan is facing South Africa in ICC WorldCup 2019, to raise awareness about enforced disappearances of Baloch and other ethnic/religious minorities in Pakistan. They also put roadside billboards around the city of London with slogans "Help end enforced disappearances in Pakistan" drawing the world's attention towards the grave issue.

According to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, an entity established by the Pakistani government, 5,000 cases of enforced disappearances have been registered since 2014.

Most of them are still unresolved.

Independent local and international human rights organisations put the numbers much higher. 20,000 have reportedly been abducted only from Balochistan, out of which more than 2,500 have turned up dead as bullet-riddled dead bodies, bearing signs of extreme torture.

Teenage Ali Haider Baloch, who started protesting for the release of his missing father as a child 10 years ago, himself became a victim of enforced disappearances on Wednesday at the hands of state authorities.

"The cases of enforced disappearances continue unabated as we campaign for an end to this heinous crime against humanity," said a spokesman of the BRP, adding "there is hardly any household in Balochistan which has not lost a member as a result of enforced disappearances."Earlier in January 2014, a mass grave was discovered in Tootak area of Khuzdar. As many as 167 bodies were recovered from the site. Human rights organisations believed the bodies belonged to previously abducted individuals, who were killed and dumped. However, the recovered bodies were later buried by authorities without any DNA testing.

Pakistan's establishment has been long criticised over its practice of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings by International bodies and local human rights organisations that dare to speak out on the issue.

Before being elected as Prime Minister, Imran Khan had admitted in multiple TV interviews the involvement of Pakistan's intelligence agencies in enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings and vowed to resign if he was unable to put an end to the practice, holding those involved responsible.

Families of the abducted victims have long been protesting for the safe recovery of their loved ones in the provincial capital Quetta, and their protest camp has now completed more than 3,500 days.

The organisers of the campaign have long been engaged in efforts to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan at international platforms, organising events around Europe and in the United States, focusing on advocacy activities in the European Parliament, the US parliamentary houses, and the United Nations.


First published: 24 June 2019, 9:08 IST