TORONTO: Balochistan activist Karima Baloch who escaped persecution in Pakistan in 2016 and was granted asylum in Canada has been found dead at Harbourfront.
The police found her body drowned off an island near Toronto’s lakeshore. Karima went missing on December 20.
Her husband, Hammal Haider, and brother identified her body. Toronto journalist Tarek Fatah was quoted by the media as saying, “Toronto Police and Canadian security agency CSIS must investigate the possibility of Pakistan’s hand in Karima’s death. Prime Minister Trudeau must act to rid Canada of Pakistan ISI agents.”
Further, a joint statement by dissident groups in Canada has called the death of Karima as murder and demanded a probe into the incident.
“Though the Toronto Police has said that the death of Karima Baloch is investigated as a noncriminal death and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances, we believe that given the threats to her life by Pakistani authorities because of her political activism, a much thorough investigation into the death of Karima Baloch is needed,” said the statement.
The joint statement was issued by Baloch National Movement, Balochistan National PartyCanada, World Sindhi CongressCanada, Pashtun Council Canada and PTM Committee Canada
We, Baloch National Movement, Balochistan National Party-Canada, World Sindhi Congress-Canada, Pashtun Council Canada and PTM Committee Canada.
The Canadian civil society too demanded a further thorough investigation. Karima identified herself as a human rights activist and had served as the Chairperson of Baloch Students Organisation Azad.
while in Pakistan, she was a fierce voice against the militarization of Balochistan, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial murders of Baloch people.
“The death of Karima Baloch has reminded us the cold-blooded murder of Sajid Husain, a Baloch journalist forced into exile in Sweden after covering violence, crime and a simmering insurgency in Pakistan. He was found dead on April 23, 2019, in north of Stockholm, after remaining missing for more than a month,” the statement said.
Karima figured among the world’s 100 most “inspirational and influential” women in 2016 by the BBC. During her refuge in Canada, Karima Baloch continued to raise her voice against the human rights abuses in Balochistan by the Pakistani State authorities.
Thousands of people have disappeared without trace in Balochistan since 2007. The statement added: “While we take immense pride in Canada’s long record of taking a courageous stance against all kinds of violations against Human Rights anywhere in the World and Canada’s image as one of the safest places for refugees and asylum seekers, any lack of concrete action to this end might jeopardize the global image/reputation
“Therefore, we urge the government of Canada to undertake an immediate and thorough investigation, bring perpetrators to justice, and take just diplomatic and political course of action in cases any foreign country or group were found to be involved behind this brutal murder of this human rights activist.”
Meanwhile, the Baloch National Movement has announced forty days of mourning for Karima Baloch The spokesperson of the Baloch National Movement said that the martyrdom of Karima Baloch, is a great loss to the Baloch nation and the national movement.
“With the death of Banuk Karima, we have lost a visionary leader and a national symbol. Compensation for this great loss is impossible for centuries,” said a statement.