Dec, 23rd 2020 – The body of a Pakistani human rights activist Karima Baloch has been found in Toronto, Canada, where she had been living for five years in exile.
Ms. Baloch, 37 years of age was a vocal critic of the Pakistani military and state. Toronto police issued an appeal after she went missing on Sunday and later confirmed that her body had been found. Police say that there were not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.
In 2016, she was named in the BBC’s annual list of 100 inspirational and influential women for her work as a campaigner. She ha to leave Pakistan in 2015 after terrorism charges were levelled against her.
In exile, she continued to campaign for the rights of people in Balochistan both in person and on social media. According to Lateef Johar Baloch, a close friend and fellow activist who lives in Toronto, the threats followed Ms. Baloch.
Speaking to BBC, he said that Ms. Balochi received anonymous threats warning her that soomeone would send her a christmas gift and teach her a lesson.
Her sister, Mahganj Baloch, speaking to BBC Urdu service said that her death was not only a tragedy for the family but also for the Baloch national movement. She said, “She didn’t go abroad because she wanted to, but because, open activism in Pakistan had become impossible.”
Balochi’s first public exposure as an activist was in 2005 inBalochistan’s Turbat area where she had attended a protest over missing persons carrying the picture of one of her missing relatives.
Activists in Balochistan say that thousands of campaigners have gone missing in recent years. However, the Pakistan military has denied accusations that it’s brutally suppressing the reign’s aspirations for autonomy.