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Killing and dumping – Baloch dilemma

Source: Raasth

“Though I have lost my son but I can raise my head high because my son was killed for his association with the land that gave him birth.” Said the mother of slain Baloch journalist Alyas Nazar whose mutilated body was dumped at a road-side a few days back. The recent kill and dump hike in Balochistan has alarmingly crossed 70 in number within a span of few months.

Alyas Nazar, 26, was a masters student of computer sciences in Balochistan university and was associated with a monthly Balochi magazine “Darwanth”. His body was found along with that of Qamber Chakar on Pasni-Turbat road. The later a student of economics was a popular political activist of Baloch Students Organization. He was only 24. Alyas and Chakar both went missing a few days before of their callous murder. Thousands of Balochs have gone missing in the same manner since past few years. Security personnel of Pakistani secret agencies have whisked away thousands including women and children in last ten years. It has been a recurring process they abduct, torture, realease and then again abduct and torture them. But the light on the other side of tunnel went off for ever when a body was thrown in Bolan Medical College on 5th July 2010. The body was later identified as Faiz Ullah Baloch. He went missing two months before his death when a passenger-van carrying them was interrupted. Two other companions of Faiz were also abducted along with him. The body of Faiz bore marks of inhumane torture. Since then more than 70 families have shared the same fate as that of Faiz Baloch’s family.

This has created huge panic in the mineral-rich but poverty-stricken province of Balochistan which has been struggling for its independence since its forceful annexation with Pakistan in 1948. The families of missing persons rush to hospitals with heavy hearts each time they see a ticker on the state oriented TV channels of Pakistan mentioning the recovery of dead bodies. The writer himself has gone through this trauma when his own brother, a student of computer sciences, was abducted a year ago and was kept in illegal and incommunicado detention for 27 days. Later recovered but with a severe psychological disorder caused by brutal torture. He is still under treatment. But not as lucky as the writer few get able to see the faces of their missing ones without a pulse in body and with fierce torture marks. The worth mentioning is that of prominent Baloch writer advocate Ali Sher kurd whose mutilated body was found in khuzdar on 24th September 2010. He went missing from Quetta three days before the recovery of his body. He had multiple fractures on almost all bones. The signs of bashes using a dagger were prominent on his body. According to family sources of the deceased, the lawyer’s forehead was drilled with a machine.

The murdered persons belong to every class of society. Though the majority are student political actvists But some lawyers, doctors, engineers and tribal elders have also been the target of this human rights violation. One of the most dreadful case was of folk singer Faqeer Ajiz Shahwani. His only crime was audio cassettes released by him that included songs with revolutionary poetry. His death ignited riots in the native city of singer. Lock outs were observed for two consecutive days. Others prominent include  Advocate Zaman Marri, Journalist Lala Hameed Baloch, Asim Baloch, 14-year-old Majeed Zehri, Zubair Sarparah and Irfan Sarwar. These Departed also include the less known Ghulam Farooq Mengal and Ashfaq Mullazai who both were the newphews of serving information minister of Balochistan Younus Mullazai.

In spite of gross human rights violation in Balochistan the ill-fated and doomed Baloch nation couldn’t succeed in attracting International media and Human Rights Champions. Other than few tickers and a very few talk shows on local and international media nothing else has been aired about the poor situation of Balochs. A ray of hope emerged on 29th December 2010 when a report narrating the concern of Obama Administration on disappearances in Pakistan was published in New York times. The report amazingly included a few lines about the human rights condition in Balochistan too. But interestingly the report only read a torture story of two BNP activists and failed in recalling the hundreds and thousands of other atrocious anecdotes.

Human Rights Organizations and international forces have a moral obligation to immediately intervene in Balochistan’s situation in order to save further lives from being torture  murdered and to ensure the human rights situation in Balochistan do not worsen.

About the author

Ali Arqam


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  • ایل یو بی پی والو . جھوٹوں کے سردارو تمہیں خدا کو خوف نہیں ہے؟

    انڈیا اور امریکہ کی مداخلت نظر نہیں آتی؟

  • Jee Han Hum Jhoote Hain Sache Is Mulk Main Sirf Khaki Wardi Wale Farishte Hain!!!!!

    India na buhat ziada mudakhilat shuru kar di hai Blaochistan main RAW hamre masoom faujiun ke khane main vigra mila deti hai jis ki wajah se woh Balochistan main aurtun ke rape kar dete hain!!!!!Warna inhen tu rozun namazun se fursat hi nahin!!!!!Allah Puche India Ko!!!!!

  • I guess, all provinces waiting for an opportunity to breakaway from Pakistan (leaving Punjab alone)! But when? (big question mark)

  • All deaths are condemnable …not just baloch ones !
    But do remember one thing …falling prey to hyper ethno-separatist racism will get you people no where. The very influences that fan these flames will ultimately betray the Balouch people in the long run …as has always been the case.

    Anarchism has kept you down, and your lawlessness will be made your weakness, and will be exploited by the enemies !

  • 20 January 2011

    Why we should worry about Balochistan
    Ahmed Rashid

    Balochistan has become the “epicentre” of regional rivalries

    Worsening violence in Balochistan is going largely unnoticed as Pakistan slides ever deeper into crisis. The province has become the epicentre for regional warfare – threatening stability in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, reports guest columnist Ahmed Rashid.

    It was a normal Sunday on 16 January in Pakistan’s insurgency wracked province of Balochistan – five people were killed in targeted killings by unknown gunmen.

    They included a lady health worker who was gunned down near the capital, Quetta; a taxi driver near the south-western town of Qila Saifullah shot dead in his cab; a teenage member of the Baloch Students’ Organisation.

    Also found was the body of Ghulam Hussain who had been kidnapped and was missing for the past eight months.

    On the same day two tankers carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan were attacked near Quetta by the Taliban with rocket propelled grenades and torched.

    The day before, 18 Nato tankers were burnt to cinders by gunmen operating further south.

    As Pakistan slithers down the slope of Islamic extremism, economic meltdown and a continuing political crisis, there has been little concern for the long running insurgency in Balochistan that has picked up pace as Baloch separatists take advantage of the national chaos, while ever more ruthless retaliatory actions by the state go unchecked.

    The region is heavily militarised
    Every day dead bodies turn up, many of them innocent victims of the mayhem in the province.

    According to human rights groups, the suspected killers either belong to the intelligence services or Baloch militant groups.

    Nobody claims responsibility for the spiralling death toll.

    The government launched a so-called peace process 15 months ago but it is stalled.

    Of the 61 steps envisaged in the package, only 15 have been implemented so far, according to Dawn newspaper.

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    Balochistan has also become the epicentre for growing regional rivalries and warfare ”

    The government package was introduced to reduce the alienation and growing poverty of the Baloch people.

    But the lack of action by the government and army has led to a stepped up hatred for the Pakistan state by Baloch youth, a terrible climate of fear because of the targeted killings and the collapse of the local economy and jobs as business flees the province.

    No organ of the state has fulfilled its promises to the Baloch people over the past two years.

    Parts of eastern Balochistan suffered massively from the devastating summer floods, but aid workers say help to the Baloch farmers has been far less than in other parts of the country.

    No remedies
    If the government has failed, so have the courts and the army.

    A year ago the Supreme Court promised to look into the cases of hundreds of Baloch who have gone missing over the years or made to disappear, but no remedies have been offered.

    “Missing” usually means they have been kidnapped and then killed or kept in secret locations.

    Blasts and ethnic violence have become a way of life in Balochistan province
    Some of those missing are political figures, others victims of criminal syndicates looking for ransom, while others are just innocent bystanders.

    The Baloch accuse the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of carrying out the kidnappings.

    The ISI denies the charges and says government officials are being targeted by the Baloch.

    The army has made little attempt to speed up political reconciliation.

    As part of the government package, the army said it would not build any more cantonments in the province, nor extend its presence.

    But it has handed over its powers to the much more loathed Frontier Corps (FC), which is officered by the army.

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    No organ of the state has fulfilled its promises to the Baloch people over the past two years. ”

    Baloch leaders say the FC is not accountable to the province’s chief minister or governor and a new demand – to place it under civilian control – has come up.

    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says the situation in the province is close to civil war.

    In a recent report it says security has further deteriorated and 45 decomposed bodies have been found since July 2010 while 298 persons have gone missing.

    There were 117 incidents of targeted killings last year, while another 119 people died in explosions and 19 in sectarian attacks.

    ‘Wrecking havoc’
    Last October, Amnesty International called on the government to investigate the torture and killings of more than 40 Baloch political activists and leaders in what it termed ”a kill and dump policy”, as the dead were usually found with a bullet wound to the head and torture marks on their bodies.

    Last year’s floods displaced many in Balochistan
    The military does not allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to monitor human rights abuses or take care of prisoners in the province.

    The militants too have been wrecking havoc on non-Baloch who have been settled in the province for decades.

    Human Rights Watch has documented the killings of nearly two dozen non-Baloch teachers and professors in the province over the past 12 months.

    Hundreds of teachers are fleeing the province bringing the already dire educational system to a standstill.

    Balochistan has seen five insurgencies since 1947, but never before have militants targeted non-Baloch residents and civilians in this manner.

    On 7 December, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani survived a bomb blast on his motorcade that wounded nine people.

    Nobody claimed responsibility but it is suspected that militants carried out the attack.

    Balochistan has also become the epicentre for growing regional rivalries and warfare.

    Leaders of the Afghan Taliban are based in Quetta, Chaman and Qila Saifullah – towns which border Afghanistan and are inhabited by Pashtun tribes.

    Fuel tanks en route to Nato forces in Afghanistan are often set on fire in the province
    The US and Nato command in Afghanistan say the Taliban use these sanctuaries to re-arm and rest their fighters, who then attack Nato forces in southern Afghanistan.

    Gen David Petraeus, the Nato commander in Afghanistan, has threatened to bomb these sanctuaries if Pakistan does not deal with them.

    Iran accuses Pakistan of allowing Jundullah, an anti-Iranian government terrorist group, to maintain bases in south-western Balochistan.

    On 15 December, a suicide bomber killed 30 people at the Iranian port of Chabahar which borders Balochistan.

    Jundullah claimed the bombing was a revenge for the execution of its leaders by Iran, some of whom had been handed over by Pakistan to Iran last year.

    Pakistan says it has ousted all members of Jundullah from its soil.

    Meanwhile, sectarian killings also have an international dimension.

    Sunni extremist groups, some funded by supporters in the Arabian Gulf states, are actively killing Shias in Quetta, who largely belong to the Hazara ethnic group.

    The Taliban are also involved in killing Hazaras, because they say they work for the Americans in Afghanistan.

    Given the political chaos in the country it is unlikely that Balochistan will receive much attention in the months ahead.

    But the collapse of law and order in the province could have serious repercussions on Pakistan’s territorial integrity and heighten tensions between the largest province Punjab and the smaller provinces.