Baloch activist ‘Karima Baloch’ found dead in Toronto

Karima Baloch, also known as Karima Mehrab, an activist from Balochistan who escaped Pakistan in 2016 to take refuge in Canada, was found dead in Harbourfront near Toronto’s lakeshore. Karima Baloch had gone missing on Sunday around 3 pm. Toronto Police had requested public assistance in locating her.

The police found Karima Baloch’s body off an island just near Canadian city Toronto’s lakeshore. Karima Baloch’s husband, Hammal Haider, and brother identified her body which is still with the police. The cause of her death is not known.

Karima Baloch was also the first female chairperson of the Baloch Student Organization. She became the leader of the BSO in 2014 after the organisation’s leader Zahid Baloch was allegedly abducted.

Dubbing the Baloch Students Organization (Azad) as a terrorist organisation, the Pakistani government banned it on March 15, 2013.

Fearing for her life, Karima Baloch, who had been vocal about Pakistan Army and government atrocities in Balochistan, escaped from Pakistan in 2016 with the help of a few friends and Baloch activists and took refuge in Canada.

Karima Baloch claimed she escaped a Pakistani military attack and stayed underground for nearly a year before escaping the country to take refuge in Toronto.

The same year, Karima Baloch was named one of the world’s 100 most “inspirational and influential” women by the BBC.

Condemning the killing of Baloch activist Karima Baloch, PoK activist Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri said that Pakistan is doomed to fail as a country.

He said that the barrel of the guns of the Pakistan establishment (Pakistan Army) cannot silence the voices of Balochistan.

“Voices of the Balochis cannot be silenced by the power of guns, it will lead to the end of Pakistan,” he said.

Police in Toronto said Tuesday they are not treating the death of a prominent Pakistani dissident as suspicious. Authorities said the body of Karima Mehrab was found on Monday near Toronto’s downtown waterfront.

Mehrab, 37, had been reported missing a day earlier.

“It is currently being investigated as a non-criminal death and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances,” Toronto police spokeswoman Caroline de Kloet said.