Missing Baloch activist was picked up from Karachi highway, alleges family

Karachi: Well-known Baloch activist and publisher, Abdul Wahid Baloch, who went missing on July 26 was picked up by law enforcement agencies, his family has alleged, the media reported on Saturday. The whereabouts of Abdul Wahid Baloch, a resident of Chakiwara in Lyari, were unknown, Dawn news online reported.  Abdul Wahid was known for participating in events, protest rallies and hunger strikes held by Baloch activists and fishermen for missing persons.  "He was referred to as comrade and used to be a constant fixture at the Karachi Press Club," said Ghulam Mohammad, a close friend and neighbour.  Abdul Wahid's eldest daughter, Hani, 20, said her father and his friend Sabir Ali Sabir, and his two children, were returning from an event in Digri on Tuesday when two men in civilian clothes, "one in black and the other in white, came towards the van as it stopped at the Superhighway toll plaza and asked my father's friend to show his identity card." "One of the men dressed in black coloured shalwar kameez turned towards my father and asked him to show his identity card. Upon looking at his ID, the man took out his phone and checked something. He then asked my father to step out with his bags. As he did so, the men asked the driver to leave immediately," added Hani. Abdul Wahid told the men that he was a government employee, working with the Karachi Civil Hospital, and refused to go along with them, "He even showed them his hospital card but they snatched it from him," the Express Tribune quoted Sabir as saying. According to Hani, the two men were standing near a blue-coloured Vigo in which her father was taken away. The family, along with a few friends, approached the town police station, located next to the Karachi toll plaza where Baloch was stopped for snap-checking. "The police refused to register an FIR and asked us to wait for three days, as he might return. We then approached the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), where we submitted an application along with his details," Hani added, according to Dawn. Another application was submitted by the Karachi Civil Hospital administration to the town police station, acknowledging Abdul Wahid as an employee working with the hospital for the past 25 years. Abdul Wahid's family approached the HRCP on Wednesday and submitted an application. "What bothers me is the fact that there's a police station and a Pakistan Rangers checkpost situated right next to the toll plaza and yet a man was whisked away so easily," Vice chairperson of the HRCP, Sindh, Asad Iqbal Butt said.  They have asked the family to push the police to register an FIR which would "strengthen their case," in case they eventually want to move a petition in the court, Asad Butt added.  Abdul Wahid was employed at the Civil Hospital, Karachi, as a telephone operator and was a book lover. He helped Baloch authors publish their works and activists print posters. He has three daughters and a son.