Dr Mahrang using Baloch protests in bid to move abroad: minister

"All they want to do is character assassination of victims' families," Mahrang reacts to minister's statement

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Baloch activist Dr Mahrang Baloch can be seen speaking in this undated image. — Instagram/@mahrangbaloch__
Baloch activist Dr Mahrang Baloch can be seen speaking in this undated image. — Instagram/@mahrangbaloch__

  • Probe commission's report may shut propaganda mills: Achakzai. 
  • Says the issue of missing persons used an organised campaign.
  • "Dr Mahrang will keep selling enforced disappearances narrative."

As protests for the recovery of Baloch missing persons continue in Islamabad, caretaker Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai has said that Dr Mahrang Baloch, a human rights activist who is leading Baloch Yakjehti Committee's (BYC) camp in the federal capital, wants to move abroad on asylum.

The minister's remark came during a press conference in Quetta on Wednesday, where he shared the Baloch Enforced Disappearance Commission's report on the missing persons. This report may shut the propaganda mills, he added.

The interim minister said that the issue of Baloch missing persons has been used as an organised campaign and some people's motivation can also be used in election campaigns and other interests.

"Everyone knows Dr Mahrang's motivation. She wants to get asylum in any foreign embassy or settle in any foreign country by getting a visa. She has a dream to become Malala II," Achakzai said.

The minister said that the activist would keep selling this narrative but this "is a fact that the entire data has been received".

He disregarded the authenticity of any statistics part of the "propaganda" which are circulating in the private sector or media.

Achakzai said that the commission's report has been presented before the Supreme Court. He said that allegations were levelled regarding the people's arrests in Tonsa and other areas

"Banned outfits give the people names to be added to missing persons' lists," the minister said, adding that Pakistan is being defamed in the name of missing persons.

He went on to say that more than 200 attacks took place in Balochistan last year.

"Someone is involved in these attacks. Innocent people can't be involved in terror attacks," Achakzai stated.

He said that people affiliated with banned outfits carry out attacks after getting training in camps. 

In response to the provincial minister’s remarks, Dr Mahrang told Geo.tv that Achakzai and his government have been involved in “propaganda against us for a long time now”.

“All they want to do is character assassination of the victims' families,” she claimed, adding, “I am not leaving Pakistan, I'm sitting here in Islamabad and I'll be here in this country.”

The human rights activist added: “Why would I fly to somewhere else? Are we demanding anything unconstitutional? I want to tell the world that the issue is not about me. It's about missing persons.”

People like Achakzai, she further said, are “merely pawns” who speak what they are told.

In its report, the inquiry commission said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported 3,485 cases of missing persons, making it the highest number in the country. Causalities in drone attacks and the spike in militancy were the key reasons behind the disappearances, read the report.

In Balochistan, 2,752 cases related to enforced disappearance were lodged, the commission said, adding that besides other reasons, fleeing abroad without informing their families, due to the prevailing situation in the province, was among the causes of these cases.

"In exercise of the aforementioned powers, the commission has issued 744 production orders out of which 52 have been implemented by the addresses, while the remaining 692 production orders are yet to the executed by the quarters concerned.”

The commission also received 182 petitions from the quarters concerned requesting for review of the production orders in these cases, the report added.