The Toronto police on Tuesday said that the death of Karima Baloch, an activist who had been vocal about Pakistan Army and government atrocities in Balochistan, is being investigated as “non-criminal death”. Baloch was found dead in Toronto, Canada, according to Balochistan Post.
In the first official reaction to any network, the Toronto Police told Zee News that “there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances”. “On Monday, December 21, 2020, a 37-year-old woman was located deceased. It is currently being investigated as a non-criminal death and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances,” said Toronto Police.
Karima was a Canadian refugee and named as one of the world`s 100 most “inspirational and influential” women in 2016 by the BBC. She had wished PM Narendra Modi on ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and sought his help in addressing the plight of people living in Balochistan, in the year 2016. She had urged PM Modi to be the voice of their struggle.
In her message to PM Modi, Karima said that his sisters of Balochistan will fight their battle by themselves, all they need is him to be their voice and to disseminate their struggle to the other parts of the world.
She had gone missing on Sunday (December 20) and was last seen at approximately 3 pm on the same day. Toronto Police had requested public assistance in locating her. However, now her family has confirmed that Karima`s body has been found. Karima Baloch, a famous personality in Balochistan, is believed to be the pioneer of women’s activism there.
She has also raised the issue of Balochistan in the United Nations sessions in Switzerland. In an interview in May 2019, she had accused Pakistan of taking away the resources and eliminating the people of Balochistan, the province with immense geo-strategic importance and huge untapped natural resource reserves. Balochistan Post said that the sudden death of the activist has raised serious concern.
This is not the first case that a Pakistani dissident has been found dead. In May, Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain was found dead in Sweden. He had been missing from the city of Uppsala since March 2.
The dissidents and critics of the Pakistan authorities, who are living in exile are under constant fear as the criticism of the military in Pakistan has always been frowned upon. People who criticise the military and its policies are harassed by agencies.
Balochistan is a restive province where the Pakistani military is accused of indulging in gross human rights violations including abducting and killing of innocents.
Resource-rich Balochistan has been gripped by an insurgency for more than 15 years. The family members and relatives of Baloch political leaders and workers had always faced state brutalities and barbarism in Balochistan.
There have been several instances where Pakistani security forces conduct operations on individual households, physically assault innocent women and children, and rely on extrajudicial death squads to subjugate Baloch civilians.
Thousands of Baloch political activists in order to avoid persecution escaped from Balochistan and are compelled to seek asylum in European counties; journalists and human rights activists are among these asylum seekers.