A Baloch professor Liaquat Sani Bangulzai has been “adducted” while travelling to Khuzdar district in Balochistan along with two other university teachers on Saturday, officials said.
The two other professors — Prof Shabbir Shahwani and Prof Nizam Shahwani — were later found in the Kanak area along Quetta-Taftan highway, Dawn reported. However, there has been no trace of Liaquat Sani.Officials of the Balochistan University said Dr Liaquat Sani had left Quetta on an official duty along with two other professors to visit the examination centres in Khuzdar, but they could not reach Khuzdar as unidentified armed men intercepted their car in the Mastung area and took them away at gunpoint.
The vehicle was found abandoned in the Paringabad area of Mastung district and two of the teachers were recovered from the Kanak area.
A spokesman for the provincial government, Liaquat Shahwani, confirmed that one professor of the Balochistan University was missing
In a tweet, he said that two missing professors had been recovered from the native area of Mastung, while Prof Liaquat Sani was still missing. He said efforts were underway for his safe and sound recovery.
“The local administration of Mastung district and security forces was making all-out efforts for the recovery of the missing university professor,” he said, expressing the hope that he would be traced soon.
President of the Balochistan University Academic Staff Association Dr Kaleemullah Barrech has strongly condemned the kidnapping of Prof Liaquat Sani on his way to Khuzdar for inspection of examination centre.Demanding immediate recovery of the missing teacher, he said the staff association would announce its line of action soon.
People of Pakistan have been tweeting under the #ReleaseProfessorLiaqatSunny demanding the immediate release of the professor.
Human Right Activist Gulalai Ismail said she strongly condemned the abduction of Liaquat Sani from Mastung.
“I strongly condemn the abduction of Dr Liaqat Sunny from Mastung, a Professor of the University of Balochistan and a renowned poet,” she tweeted.
Another Baloch person tweeted: “The policies regarding #BalochMissingPersons and #EnforcedDisappearances of any #Baloch are still continued whether he belongs to any field of life in #Balochistan. Raise your voice to end this inhuman act and #ReleaseProfessorLiaqatSunny.”
Pakistan has a long history of enforced disappearances, many of which have targetted human rights and minority defenders critical of the government and the military, as well as persons suspected or accused of involvement in the opposition.
Balochistan is a resource-rich but least developed province of Pakistan where a movement for freedom is ongoing for the past several decades. Many Baloch believe that the region was independent before 1947 and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan.
While successive governments have promised to criminalise enforced disappearance, none has taken concrete steps and the practice continues with impunity.
The Pakistan Army has launched several operations in Balochistan and has supported criminals, which locals call “death squads”.
A large number of political activists, intellectuals, women and children in Pakistan’s Balochistan province are victims of enforced disappearances by the security agencies.
Many of them are languishing in detention centres whereas mutilated bodies of some of these abducted Baloch are found in isolated places.