Children’s names put on ECL as father completes nine years of disappearance

Children’s names put on ECL as father completes nine years of disappearance

On February 12, 2012, Dost Mohammad and Imran Baloch boarded a flight from Panjgur which was destined for Karachi. On arriving in Karachi, both were picked up by security forces. Ten days later, Imran was released but no one has heard of Dost Mohammad since then.

Dost Mohammad’s family had filed a report of his disappearance in Karachi and appeared in front of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances several times. After being disappointed by police and COIED, his daughter mostly campaigns online to highlight her father’s extrajudicial and involuntary disappearance. On February 12 this year, on the completion of nine years of Dost Mohammad’s disappearance, the family ran an online campaign for his safe return.  The same day the family also received a letter from Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior.

The letter no. 12/162/2020-ECL dated October 15, 2020, stated that the Federal Government has decided to place five children of Dost Mohammad whose names are Rizwana, Talib, Asim, Zakir and Faisal on the Exit Control List under section 2 of Exit from Pakistan Ordinance 1981 with approval from the Federal Cabinet on the recommendation of a security agency. The security agency accused them of being involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan and facilitators of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), a militant organization that wants independence from Pakistan.

Surprisingly, Talib and Faisal have never been to Balochistan in their entire lives. Both were born and raised in the Sultanate of Oman and have never travelled to Balochistan. Zakir, on the other hand, had visited Balochistan in 2016 for a few days with his family and returned to Oman and has never been to Balochistan since then.

“I was angry and shocked about the allegations,” said Zakir, son of Dost Mohammad. “Later, I realized that it was my sister and grandmother’s struggle for the safe return of my father which caught the attention of the secret service. What else could make them place my siblings’ names on the ECL? Faisal and Talib have never seen Balochistan and are normal young boys. Facilitating BLF is far beyond their thoughts. It seems we are doing something good which is troubling the state apparatus”, he added.

The Human Rights Council of Balochistan is appalled by this behaviour from the State of Pakistan towards the children of Dost Mohammad. Placing them on the ECL for demanding basic human and legal rights for their father is highly condemnable. We demand the government produce Dost Mohammad in a court of law if he has committed any crime, lift the travel ban on his children and bring the perpetrators to justice.