‘Enforced disappearances’: Balochistan University professor goes missing

at 4:17 pm

New Delhi (NVI): In yet another case of enforced disappearance in Pakistan, a professor in Balochistan University has gone missing under mysterious circumstances, with several human rights groups and activists condemning the incident and demanding from Pakistan authorities his immediate and safe recovery.

The Balochistan Post reported that three professors at the University of Balochistan, Quetta, were initially abducted and their vehicle was found in a locality in Mastung that falls in Kalat division of the province.

While two professors – Shabir Shahwani and Nizam Shahwani – were later released, one of them remains missing, the news website reported.

The missing professor has been identified as Dr Liaquat Sanni, who was serving as the Chairman of the Brahui department at the University of Balochistan and was also known for his research on Brahui language.

The TBP report said that Dr Sanni has authored several books, scholarly articles and has also earned a PhD in Brahui language.

The three professors were travelling from Quetta to Khuzdar to visit the ongoing examinations, but mysteriously went missing along the way, TBP reported. The two professors, who were released, were found in Kanak area of Mastung.

Even as the local authorities have said that they are investigating the matter, UN Human Rights South Asia has demanded strict action from Pakistani authorities against the culprits.

“We have received many messages about the abduction of three professors from Balochistan province of #Pakistan. We demand safe and immediate recovery of those professors. And We demand from Pakistani authorities to take strict action against those culprits who abducted them,” UNHR South Asia tweeted via its official handle.

Baloch Student Organisation Pajjar has termed the incident as an “anti-education step”.

Mama Qadeer, the Vice Chairman of Voice For Baloch Missing Persons, has also condemned Dr Sanni’s disappearance. In a statement, the activist has said that if people like Dr Sanni are not safe then one can envisage what the security situation of Balochistan is like.

Notably, this is not the first such incident in Balochistan and other parts under illegal Pakistan occupation. Pakistan army and police have engaged in enforced disappearances of innocent people in Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan who have raised their voice against the government or protested against them.

According to Amnesty International, enforced disappearances have been taking place for a long time and despite the pledges of successive governments to criminalize the practice, there has been slow movement on legislation while people continue to be forcibly picked up and made to disappear with impunity.