It is up to Canada to unravel the mystery of the death of Baloch activist Karima Mehrab

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 12:27 AM IST
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Baloch activist Karima Mehrab | Screengrab from video posted by ANI on YouTube

There should be little doubt that the Canada-based Baloch activist Karima Mehrab was murdered by the long hand of Pakistan's ISI. Fearing elimination by the ISI, the 37-year-old champion of Baloch independence and the first woman chairperson of the Baloch Students Organisation—Azad, she had taken asylum in Canada five years ago. Even in exile, she was considered a threat by the Pakistani establishment, which keeps a hawk's eye on such activists wherever they may relocate outside to escape persecution and torture at home.

Sometime ago, a Baloch journalist who had taken asylum in Sweden and ran a web-based newsletter about his homeland’s struggle for dignity was similarly found dead after he had gone missing for a few days. Clearly, the ISI captures the activists and before killing them, tortures them to extract vital information about fellow supporters and activists. Unfortunately, the Swedish authorities failed to crack the mystery behind the death of the Baloch journalist.

It is now for the Canadian authorities to unravel the mystery of the sudden disappearance and death of Mehrab. The host countries owe it to the sanctity of their own citizen security apparatuses to ensure that foreign cloak-and-dagger agencies directly or through mercenary assassins do not target vulnerable refugees by tyrannical regimes in their home countries. Otherwise, the persecution of suppressed minorities in countries like Pakistan would continue unabated.

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