Scholars demand Canada to reconsider relations with Pakistan following Karima Baloch’s death

Karima Baloch.

After the mysterious death of Baloch activist Karima Baloch, Tarek Fatah, an author on Pakistani affairs and scholar Burzine Waghmar slammed the crackdown on dissent in Balochistan and urged the Canadian Government to reconsider diplomatic relations with Pakistan.

Speaking to a Canadian News outlet recently, Waghmar said that there has been a systematic campaign by the Pakistani state elements to “liquidate any and every Baloch voice.”
“We have seen nothing official come out of Ottawa on this count. Not even the Pakistani High Commissioner in Ottawa has been called into the foreign ministry for an explication on this. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” he said, while speaking on reactions of Karima’s death.

He added, “Pakistani intelligence has taken a leaf from Iranian intelligence in targetting their own dissidents abroad… Silence on Ottawa’s part is simply not an option. Why has he not been prepared to speak on Pakistan? What is happening in Pakistan’s Balochistan is atrocious.”

Fatah, who is also leading the Friends For Karima Baloch committee, called for Karima’s death to not be considered a suicide stating that “there is no reason to” do so.

“There was no reason for her to commit suicide. She had her whole life ahead of her,” he said.

Karima, a prominent Baloch voice, went missing last Sunday and her body was found a day later in Toronto.

The Baloch activists’ death has also sparked protests across Europe and North America as the Baloch diaspora took to the streets in Toronto, Berlin and Netherlands calling on the Canadian government to investigate.

Baloch had campaigned vigorously against the disappearances and human rights violations in the troubled Balochistan province of Pakistan.

Requesting the United Nations to intervene, Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) in a letter has said Pakistan has “responded violently to the genuine demands of the Baloch people”.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Naseer Dashti, BHRC executive president, wrote, “Her family and political friends believe that Pakistani secret agencies are involved in the death of Karima Mehrab and have rejected the initial report of the Toronto police.”

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