Pak court asks Human Rights Ministry to address Baloch students harassment complaints

Many Baloch students have been harassed and assaulted by security personnel, triggering protests by Baloch student bodies and human rights organisations, demanding an immediate end to the ongoing mistreatment of innocent students.

Students of Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) demanding legal protection for its students, who are being harassed for having Baloch ethnicity.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who was hearing the cases pertaining to the alleged harassment of Baloch students, instructed the Ministry of Human Rights to place the complaints before the commission and prepare a report. The report is to be presented before the IHC on the next hearing date i.e June 10.

The court has asked the Ministry of Human Rights and the Interior ministry to view the complaints of the Baloch students on priority before making the report.

In April 2022, the IHC had directed authorities to form a commission to investigate the racial profiling and disappearances of Baloch students in the country.

“The courts will not turn a blind eye to the human rights violations in Pakistan,” Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah said.

Lawyer of the Baloch students, Imaan Mazari, who has been outspoken and vocal about the enforced disappearances of Baloch youth said that the government did not seem to take any interest or show any concern of the students seriously.

“Higher Education Commission (HEC) should send notices to all universities in Pakistan instructing them to stop harassment of Baloch students,” said Imaan Mazari.