A leading member of the Baloch separatist movement based in Germany, on the condition of anonymity, told Sayhoon News that Karima Baloch has been killed by Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency (ISI).
Karima Baloch, 37, was the first women chairperson of the Baloch Students’ Organization Azad and was living as a refugee in Canada since 2016. The BBC has added her to its list of the world’s 100 most influential women of the year 2016. After her escape, Karima used to raise voice for the rights of Balochistan in the Unites Nation sessions in Canada and Switzerland. She had also raised the issue of gender inequality in Pakistan at the United Nations during the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council in 2018.
According to the local police, she was last seen on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at around 3 pm. Toronto police had posted a picture of Karima Baloch after her disappearance on their website and appealed to the public to help police in the search. However, today her family confirmed that Karima’s dead body has been recovered. So far, the police have released no details as to what led to her disappearance and death.
Karima was one of the leading political activists of Balochistan. She is said to be the founder of political mobilization among Baloch women and had the honor of being the first female head of the organization in the 70-year history of the Balochistan students organization. She had sought political asylum in Canada in the wake of serious threats to her life in Baluchistan.
Karima Baloch, to an Indian media outlet a year ago, called on the country’s Prime Minister Modi to raise the issue of Baloch freedom in the United Nations as she said it is not Pakistan’s internal issue rather a common issue of the region. Balochistan has never remained the official territory of Pakistan and is the reason we don’t consider the issue of Balochistan an internal issue of Pakistan, Karima told the Indian media.
Karima, during a protest on September 23, 2018, told ANI that the Pakistani government has no moral obligation towards the rights of Balochistan so, despite expecting Pakistan for ensuring Baloch’s rights we must speak out against Pakistan and its anti-Baloch policies.
Baloch political activists have expressed deep shock over the sudden disappearance and death of Karima Baloch. This is not the first time an activist from Balochistan has died under mysterious circumstances. In May, this year, Baloch journalist and activist, Sajid Hussain’s dead body was found in a river in Uppsala, Sweden. His relatives claimed that he had been killed. Reporters Without Borders had expressed suspicion that Pakistani intelligence agencies ISI and MI may be behind the kidnapping and murder of Sajid Hussain.
Sajid Hussain, another Baloch refugee and journalist gone missing from Sweden in March this year while his body was found from a river later on. Reporters without Borders (RSF), a Paris-based journalists’ organisation, alleged that Mr. Hussain’s mysterious disappearance and death could have been organized by the Pakistani intelligence agencies – ISI and MI – due to his work as a journalist and raising voice for the rights of Balochistan.