Students of the Balochistan University resumed their protest on Thursday as authorities failed to recover the two missing students, Faseeh Baloch and Sohail Baloch, who had been abducted from the university premises by unknown individuals earlier this month.
Ten days have elapsed since the university students began their protest for the safe recovery of their fellow students. Initially, the authorities held negotiations with the protesting students so that educational activities could resume. However, the talks failed and on November 9 the protesting students locked campus gates and boycotted all classes and exams in protest of Sohail and Fasiullah Baloch’s abductions.
The protest was halted last Saturday (13 Nov), after the government assured protesting students that both the missing individuals would be recovered by Tuesday, Nov 16. The Baloch Student Organisation (BSO) has said that the government was unable to keep its promise, as the students have still not been recovered, and asked for more time.
A university spokesman said that the administration, including the vice-chancellor, was holding talks with the students. He further noted that the CCTV footage of the incident did not contain any indication of kidnapping.
The government also formed a committee to address the students’ concerns, and one of its members Nasrullah Zaray, Balochistan MPA, confirmed to Dawn that Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo had been informed about the situation.
Balochistan suffers from an epidemic of enforced disappearances. Many national and international organisations including the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan have raised their voice against this recurrent problem.
In 2019, the Ministry of Human Rights drafted a bill to criminalise enforced disappearances but it has still not been passed by the Parliament.