The Kill List
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In December 2020, Karima Baloch’s body was pulled from the frigid waters of Lake Ontario, just outside of Toronto. She was a human rights activist and longtime critic of Pakistan. She lived in Canada for several years and assumed the country would provide some safety; at least relative to what she knew in Pakistan. 

Sajid Hussain was the chief editor of the Balochistan Times and fled Pakistan in 2012, fearing he would be killed by state authorities. In April 2020, he was found dead in the River Fryis outside Uppsala, Sweden.

Both were high-profile, outspoken dissidents who lived in exile. Both were assumed targets of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Both had their deaths underplayed by local authorities.

On The Kill List, Mary Lynk gives safe passage to the voices of those affected by these controversial deaths and to those willing to carry on the message that Karima Baloch and Sajid Hussain endeavoured to spread.

Being in opposition to the interests of the Pakistani state means that you’ll get noticed, no doubt. But, to get under the skin of an entire government shouldn’t get you added to a state kill list, as many like Baloch and Hussain find themselves. 

You read that right, Pakistan finds way to shirk responsibility, decency and general expectation to quiet anyone outspoken and critical of its government, especially if you’re a member of the ethnic Baloch people or human-rights activist shining a light on the threats, abductions, or suspicious deaths.

The disappeared are hidden away in military cells where they’re tortured, sometimes for years, and then released as shattered human beings. Others are murdered, their bodies with visible signs of mutilation, tossed in random places for their families to find. 

This is known as the kill and dump, something the Pakistani military is known for.

The most terrifying part – the thing that cannot get lost in the mix – is that if the dots connect as well as they seem to, the ISI finds a way to reach beyond its borders and pull oxygen out of the voices and out the people who give life to them. 

Have a listen and let us know what you think.

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