Fringes of despair . .

               The journey of defiance and rebellion commenced with Adam, as immortalized by John Milton’s fervent prologue to his masterpiece “Paradise Lost.” In this incendiary introduction, Milton held Adam accountable for the afflictions that plague our world: “Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit/Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste/Brought Death into the World, and all our woe.”

               However, amidst the woes and despair that disobedience seems to herald, a paradox emerges. Disobedience, contrary to its negative connotations, has been intertwined with certain compensatory virtues. Oscar Wilde, the playwright, challenged conventional thought by asserting that “Disobedience…is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, and rebellion.

               The focal point has shifted unambiguously towards the retrieval or salvage of individuals who’ve disappeared without a trace. The rallying cries should not reverberate for infrastructure development or economic growth; rather, they should resound for the safe return of those gone missing. BNP chief and tribal elder Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal determination mirrors the resilience of the Balochistan populace, who’ve ventured to extraordinary lengths to bring the plight of the missing persons to the fore. The clamor for truth transcends empty threats; it defies the mere specter of death. The missing persons, if lucky enough to evade the clutches of mortality, encounter a torment more grievous than death itself.

               Within the national corridors of power, a paradox unfurls. Commemorations of international days like women’s rights, Kashmir, or press freedom are observed with fanfare. Exotically absent, however, is the acknowledgment of the Missing Persons Day. Even the human rights ministry shies away from embracing this issue. While numerous commissions and courts have been convened, the tally of those reclaimed from the abyss remains stubbornly at zero. The question itself is met with evasive concerns for national security, as if the quest for justice threatens the very fabric of our unity.

               In the fringes of despair, the vanishing flesh and sinew of the departed morphs into ghostly echoes; silence envelopes their plight, save for the haunting reverberation of bones that long for recognition. It’s essential to clarify unequivocally: advocating for young girls resorting to self-destruction isn’t condonable. However, it’s imperative we interrogate the underpinnings that coerce such tragic decisions. The roots of such desperation demand examination.

               The very fabric of Balochistan bears the marks of indigence, a predicament echoing across the expanse. The missing persons crisis stands as an emblem of this collective struggle. The fight for basic dignity is eclipsed by the shadows of those who’ve vanished, leaving voids that affect families, communities, and the social fabric itself.

               In this pursuit, the onus falls on the collective to ceaselessly highlight this humanitarian crisis. The trajectory of dialogue must be redefined. Promoting understanding, fostering empathy, and seeking to unearth the truth should replace evasive tactics. The concerns of those vanished are intrinsically tied to the conscience of a nation aspiring for justice and unity.

               As Balochistan grapples with the gaping wound of missing loved ones, it’s paramount to channel collective efforts toward change. The discourse must shift from oblivion to acknowledgment, from silence to advocacy. The missing persons aren’t statistics; they are brothers, sisters, parents, and friends. Their absence, like an indelible scar, bears witness to the pain etched into the narrative of a suffering province. It’s time to collectively embrace the agony of the missing persons and work together to rewrite the future a future that honors their existence, rights the wrongs, and reinstates the hope that their bones resonate with.

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