Heartbreaking Portraits Of Activists Who Walked 1,900 Miles Across Pakistan With Photos Of Their Missing Loved Ones

Around 100 activists from the impoverished province of Baluchistan walked 1,900 miles to Pakistan’s capital to demand justice for relatives who disappeared during the government’s crackdown on insurgents.

1. Around 100 protesters walked 1,900 miles from the destabilized province of Baluchistan to Islamabad, demanding justice for their loved ones who went missing after they were allegedly abducted by the Pakistani government, the Associated Press reported.

Faisal Mahmood / Reuters

2. In the past several years, more than 10,000 people have gone missing in the conflict between pro-independence rebels and government forces in the relatively lawless region of Baluchistan.

Faisal Mahmood / Reuters

Since the mid-2000s, tens of thousands of rebels, activists, and civilians have been reported missing from the southwestern Baluchistan province. Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s government led a crackdown on insurgents who were fighting for greater autonomy in the region.

Human rights activists and Baluch locals allege that Pakistani forces have abducted and detained their people without giving them trials, and have often killed and dumped their bodies in the desert.

The government has denied these allegations, claiming that many of those missing were criminals in hiding or members of militant groups.

4. In 2012, the Voice for Baluch Missing Persons organization gave the United Nations a list of 12,000 missing persons in the conflict. Organizers of the protest say the number has risen to 18,000 since then.

AP Photo/B.K. Bangash

People welcome the family members of missing people during the march in Rawalpindi on Feb. 28.

5. A group of activists with missing relatives started their march from Baluchistan’s capital of Quetta on Oct. 27, walking nearly 1,900 miles to reach Islamabad on Feb. 28.

AP Photo/B.K. Bangash

The marchers carried photos of missing relatives with their names and the dates they disappeared, calling on the government to find them and bring them to trial if they’re accused of a crime.

Along the way, they were welcomed by locals who fed and housed them during their long march to the nation’s capital.

6. Associated Press photographer Muhammed Muheisen took photographs of the activists during a break from their long march in Rawalpindi.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

7. Ali Haider, 10, holds a photograph of his father, who disappeared on July 14, 2010.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

8. Maheen Baloch, 15, holds a photograph of her brother Naveed, who went missing on Aug. 17, 2013.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

9. Mohammed Qadir, 62, and his grandson Meer, 7, hold a photograph of Meer’s father, Jaleel, who went missing in 2010 and was reported dead in 2013.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

10. Bahiyya Murree holds a photograph of her brother Akbar, who has been missing since April 20, 2010.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

11. Farzana Majeed, 27, holds a photograph of her brother Zakir, who went missing on June 8, 2009.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

12. Robi Zarmen holds a photograph of her brother who went missing on Feb. 11, 2011 and was reported dead a year later.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

13. Zareena Qalandrani holds a photograph of her brother Manzoor, who has been missing since Aug. 2, 2012.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

14. Sameena Rudni, 20, holds a photograph of her brother Mushtaq, who went missing on March 27, 2009.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

15. Sameena Haider, 14, holds a photograph of her brother, who disappeared on Aug. 17, 2013.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

16. Somi Baloch, 16, holds a photograph of her brother Deen, who went missing on June 28, 2009.

AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

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