Suri summons interior minister over ‘detention’ of Baloch women | Pakistan Today

Suri summons interior minister over ‘detention’ of Baloch women

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri on Thursday directed Interior Minister Ijaz Shah to appear before the House on Friday to brief the lawmakers on the detention of four Baloch women from Awaran district of the province.

The directives were issued after the opposition members led by Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal staged a sit-in in front of the speaker’s rostrum.

On November 30, four Baloch women were forcibly picked up from different parts of Awaran. According to a tweet by rights activist associated with Amnesty International, Rabia Mehmood, four Baloch women named Sakina, Sayad Bibi, Nazal and Hameeda have been forcibly picked up from district Awaran in Balochistan.

Speaking in the House, Mengal raised the issue of Balochistan’s marginalisation since decades. He said that “four women had been kidnapped on November 29 and taken away to a torture cell and tortured” before their arrest was made public.

Mengal also questioned the defence put up by the government to save former military dictator General (r) Musharraf as he held the general responsible for a decade long insurgency in the province. He said Balochistan cannot put run “on gunpoint” while criticising the policies of the current regime which were oblivious to the plight of the Baloch people.

He questioned whether it was “unseen forces” that were running the government or a civil government. “What message will the arrest of these women send to people?”

Mengal also remarked what kind of government “hides the faces of terrorists in court but allows the display of pictures of women with weapons placed in front of them”. “Neither did the previous government wish to take Balochistan forward with them, nor does this government,” he said.

“A committee for Balochistan was formed in June but its members have still not been named,” said Mengal. “When you want votes, then you want Akhtar Mengal and you want Shahzain Bugti,” he added in further criticism of the government.

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