On this fateful day, eight years ago on August 21, 2013, the body of the missing journalist, Haji Abdul Razzak Sarbazi, was found in Karachi. A copy editor for the Balochi-language newspaper Daily Tawar, Abdul Razzak had been missing from the city since March 24, 2013.
Speaking to Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Saeeda Sarbazi said her brother never said anything about whether he was receiving threats for his work.
Saeeda had identified the body as that of her brother’s by the clothes he was wearing when he went missing and via his feet, as they were the only part of his body that were identifiable.
The corpse was found from the outskirts of Karachi in the remit of the Surjani Town police station. Baloch’s family had alleged despite approaching the police, courts, human rights organizations and the national press, they were unable to find any clue about his whereabouts till August 21.
His sister said that Baloch was a writer and had nothing to do with militancy.
The Daily Tawar, whose headquarters are based in Quetta, was a pro-Baloch nationalist newspaper that acts as a voice for secessionist groups in the Balochistan province. The paper was known for its coverage of the many conflicts between these groups and the government.
Eight years later there has been no progress in the case of Baloch’s death. Speaking to PPF, Senior Investigation Officer Surjani Town Police Station said that the case had been marked as a Category-A case which meant that none of the accused had been arrested and the case had been closed until the family of the deceased nominate someone or someone voluntarily confesses to the crime.
Abdul Razzaq’s wife Fareeda told PPF that she was a complainant in the case but whenever she visited the police station, officials asked her to nominate someone else otherwise they would have to close the case.
She said her husband had no personal conflicts with anyone. Fareeda said that they were struggling to seek justice and had even protested demanding justice but no one, not the government or organizations had supported them.
Fareeda said they had been warned to step back as the people behind the incident could be influential.
President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Shehzada Zulfiqar said that none of the accused had yet been arrested in the case.
Zulfiqar said that they always demand justice but the involvement of some influential people restrict authorities from arresting culprits.
“This is unfortunate that we still don’t have the right to freedom of expression,” he said.
Karachi Press Club Secretary General Rizwan Bhatti told PPF that Abdul Razzaq wasn’t a member of the press club but they had still demanded authorities for immediate action against the murder and to arrest the culprits.
Bhatti said that in many other cases regarding journalists, the accused enjoy impunity.