According to media reports, Karima Baloch, a Canadian refugee named by the BBC as one of the world’s 100 most “inspirational and influential” women in 2016, has been founded dead in Canada. She was reportedly last seen on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at approximately 3 p.m.
The Toronto police had said that Karima was last seen in the Bay Street and Queens Quay West area in Toronto. The Police had requested the public’s assistance in locating Karima Baloch. However, now her family has confirmed that Karima Baloch’s body has been found and has requested privacy.
It is important to note that a few months ago, Sajid Hussain Balcoh’s, a Sweden-based Pakistani journalist, dead body was found in Uppsala in April. After months, the Swedish prosecution authority closed a preliminary murder investigation and said that they no longer suspect a crime has taken place. Hence, the mystery surrounding Sajid Baloch’s death has been resolved.
Sajid Baloch’s death: dead body found in Sweden
A Pakistani journalist Sajid Baloch, who was reportedly living in exile in Sweden and had been missing since March 2, was found dead in April 2020. “His body was found on April 23 in the Fyris river outside Uppsala,” police spokesperson Jonas Eronen told media. “The autopsy has dispelled some of the suspicion that he was the victim of a crime,” Eronen added.
The police spokesperson also said that while a crime could not be completely ruled out, Hussain’s death could equally have been the result of an accident or a suicide.
“As long as a crime cannot be excluded, there remains the risk that his death is linked to his work as a journalist,” Erik Halkjaer, head of the Swedish branch of Reporters without Borders (RSF), said.
Hussain, hailing from Balochistan, was working part-time as a professor in Uppsala, about 60 kilometers north of Stockholm, when he went missing on March 2.
Baloch had worked for leading English-language dailies in Pakistan, including The News and The Daily Times. He was also the chief editor of the Balochistan Times, an online magazine he had set up, in which he wrote about drug trafficking, forced disappearances and a long-running insurgency.
Hussain’s death and speculations
Pakistani journalists and rights groups have called on Swedish authorities to step up efforts to find missing journalist Sajid Hussain Baloch, who disappeared from Sweden.
Pakistani journalists and rights groups have called on Swedish authorities to step up efforts to find missing journalist Sajid Hussain Baloch, who disappeared from the Swedish city of Uppsala on March 2. https://t.co/dp5Ts69tSh
— DW News (@dwnews) April 8, 2020
Some activists and several Indian media outlets pointed fingers at the security agencies of Pakistan for allegedly killing the journalist. It was highlighted as if he was targeted by Pakistani agencies for highlighting human rights issues, and Sajid Baloch’s death was a ‘murder’.
This is a terrible day! Sajid Hussain, the exiled Baloch activist, editor in Chief of BalochistanTimes who was highlighting human rights abuses by Pakistan security agencies in Balochistan has been found dead after remain missing for 2 months in Sweden.https://t.co/bm74oIxLVv
— Gulalai Ismail ګلالۍاسماعیل (@Gulalai_Ismail) May 1, 2020
Gulalai Ismail, a controversial activist, even demanded that the “Pakistan Embassy in Sweden should be investigated for their involvement in abduction and murder of Baloch exiled activist Sajid Hussain. There has been an increasing trend of threats and attacks on the exiled activists facilitated through embassies. I’d personally witnessed it”.
It was repeatedly said that Pakistan’s secret agencies might have played any role. Afrasiab Khattak, former senator, has said that “criticism of the army is a red line in Pakistan that tends to attract strong-arm tactics against journalists/bloggers. But the recent mysterious disappearance of a Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain in Sweden has raised new questions”.
Criticism of the army is a red line in Pakistan that tends to attract strong arm tactics against journalists/bloggers . But the recent mysterious disappearance of a Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain in Sweden has raised new questions. @DaudKhattak1 https://t.co/fQ8ra0qtKz
— Afrasiab Khattak (@a_siab) April 10, 2020
Contrary to what was being claimed, the Swedish prosecution authority has maintained that either Sajid Baloch’s death was an act of suicide or an accident. However, there was no crime found in this case.