Pakistan asks Canada to probe death of Karima Baloch

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Pakistan has requested Canada to investigate the death of Karima Baloch and sought its inquiry report. The request has been made by the Foreign Office, according to Bushra Rind – who is Adviser to Balochistan Chief Minister on Information and Parliamentary Secretary.

Karima Baloch, a Pakistani human rights activist living in exile in Canada, was found dead on Sunday. Police say they have no reason to suspect foul play, but Karima’s family and supporters say her death at least warrants closer inspection

Expressing grief over the tragic death of Ms Baloch, the former chairperson of BSO Azad, Ms Rind said on Friday it was the Canadian government’s responsibility to provide protection to the Pakistani citizen as she had taken political asylum there.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Shaina Khan and other women leaders, Ms Rind disclosed that the Canadian police had arrested two suspects in connection with the case.

She said the suspects had been shifted to an unknown place for interrogation and requested the authorities concerned to share the inquiry report with Pakistan.

She also expressed the hope that justice would be done.

The adviser said the Balochistan government through Islamabad had contacted the Canadian government to bring her body back. “We are also in contact with the family of the deceased and the government will extend all help and cooperation to the family in returning of Karima’s body,” Ms Rind said.

The body of Karima Baloch, 37, was found in Toronto, where she had been living for five years in exile. She was a campaigner from the restive region of Balochistan in western Pakistan and a vocal critic of the Pakistani military establishment.

Toronto police issued an appeal after she went missing on Sunday and later confirmed that her body had been found. Police said there were “not believed to be any suspicious circumstances”.

Her first public exposure as an activist was in 2005, in Balochistan’s Turbat area, where she attended a protest over missing persons carrying the picture of one of her missing relatives.

Several members of Ms Baloch’s extended family had been linked to the Baloch militant organizations over the years, and two of her uncles – a brother of her mother and a brother of her father – had gone missing. Their dead bodies were later found.

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