Cross-posted from Pakistan Blogzine
Another Baloch journalist, Javid Naseer Rind, was killed today. His mutilated dead body was recovered from Khuzdar.
Javid Naseer Rind, the former Deputy Editor of Daily Tawar, a leading anti-military-state Baloch newspaper published in Urdu language, was kidnapped on 10 September 2011 from Hub Chowki, Lasbela, the industrial town of Balochistan. Police quoting eyewitnesses said abductors were riding in two separate cars who held Javed Naseer at gun-point and bundled him into the car and drove away.” Since then his whereabouts of the both were unknown. (Source)
Mr. Rind’s family and well wishers had legitimate reasons to worry about his forced disappearance because most of the Baloch journalists kidnapped in the past in a similar pattern were eventually found dead. Soon after Rind’s disappearance, Daily Tawar’s editor, Khadim Lehri, went into hiding after receiving threats on his life. At least three Daily Tawar reporters, Abdul Hameed Hayatan, Siddiq Eido, and Rehmatullah Shaheen, were killed last year. (Source)
Unfortunately, Mr. Rind’s fate was no different. Mutilated dead body of Javid Naseer Rind was found today (5 Nov 2011) in Khuzdar.
Javid Rind’s name is yet another addition to the long list of Baloch and Pashtun journalists killed by Pakistan’s security forces and their proxies (TTP-LeJ-SSP) in the last few years. At least 13 journalists have been killed in Balochistan over the past two years.
There are a number of key issues:
1. The silent massacre and/or persecution of Baloch media persons (journalists, reporters, bloggers) at the hands of Pakistan’s military establishment and its proxy agencies (FC, ISI, MI, SSP/LeJ, Jundullah etc);
2. Silence or misrepresentation in Pakistani and international media on the Baloch genocide. While there is no hope from Pakistan’s right wing journalists, the role of urban-centric (fake) liberal journalists is equally despicable. For example, despite a personal appeal to Mr. Najam Sethi (political advisor of Geo TV/Jang Group) by the relatives of Mr. Rind, Mr. Sethi and his Jang Group paid little to no coverage to Mr. Rind’s abduction.
“My uncle Abdul Samad Baloch and my uncle son Javed Naseer Rind are abducted by Pakistani ISI…we are not Taliban…please give us help. Please do some(thing) about us. I am the eye vitnes (sic),” begged Moeed Baoch, a relative of the missing journalist in an urgent request posted on the Facebook fan page of Najam Sethi, a renowned Pakistani journalist with alleged links with Pakistan’s military establishment. (Source)
3. Silence of human rights organizations (barring a token statement/report or two). Despite an impassioned petition by Baloch media persons and social activists, the HRW and other human rights organizations failed to highlight the illegal abduction of Javid Rind in Pakistani and international media.
This petition which was grossly ignored by the media and human rights organizations
Save Life of a Baloch Journalist
Send To: Human Rights Watch
Sponsored By: International Voice for Baloch missing persons
Please help save life of Baloch Journalist, Javed Naseer Rind, abducted by ISI.
Javed Naseer Rind is a journalist and columnist, associated with a local daily, a Balochistan based Urdu language newspaper which has an editorial policy of highlighting the sufferings of Baloch masses. According to reports unidentified people abducted Javed Naseer Rind from IT Chowk Hub at gun-point and drove him away towards undisclosed location.
It must be noted that scores of journalists and human rights activists have been abducted and killed by death squads of Pakistani Intelligence agencies in same fashion. ISI and Military Intelligence are involved in very brutal acts of killing and dumping Baloch political activists.
The life of Javed Naseer is in grave danger. Please Sign this petition to help us save his life.
A Baloch Tweep, Nawaz Bugti, thus commented: stop killing baloch journalist in #balochistan silence of human right organization is the act of baloch genocide.
4. Balochistan is literally a military state ruled by Pakistan army (Frontier Constabulary, ISI, TTP-LeJ etc), the provincial ministers of the PPP acts as convenient mouthpieces of Pakistan army and are, indirectly, complicit in the murder of innocent Baloch and Hazara citizens of Balochistan.
5. Life of a Baloch or Pashtun journalist is considered inferior to that of a Punjabi or Urdu speaking journalist in Pakistan. For example, compare the enormous coverage given to Saleem Shahzad’s abduction and murder by the ISI with the much ignored abduction and murder of Javid Rind.
6. Even the country’s so-called independent judiciary (azad adlia) seems to lack the the will to take notice of the widespread killings o Baloch journalists, writers and human rights activists. There are consistent signs that Pakistan’s judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Lahore High Court, has reached an agreement with the army to ensure safe release of arrested terrorists and a lack of action on extra-judicial abductions and murders.
There are a number of pertinent questions in Express Tribune’s recent editorial:
The bodies that continue to turn up in towns across Balochistan represent a tragedy we have essentially ignored for far too long. Four more bodies were discovered on November 3, bringing the count to an alarming 230 since June 2010. In the latest case, two of the bodies were those of students who died a terrible death. Bullet and torture marks scarred their bodies. The young men had vanished from Mand a few months ago. The other two victims were Baloch Students Organisation activists, killed like others before them. This brings us to a crucial question. Why has there been so much indifference in the country to the situation in Balochistan? Who, we ask, has control over the affairs of Balochistan; who is actually running the province and where are things headed? At the very least, a credible inquiry should be conducted to find out who is behind the killings. These queries are not being asked often enough. They have certainly not entered the realm of mainstream thinking in the country or been taken up by television anchors who act increasingly to shape opinion and set the agenda for news. Yet everything about our history indicates we need to look at Balochistan with a far more proactive approach. The events in what was once East Pakistan must not be forgotten.
The SSP-LeJ factor
Journalists in Balochistan are frequently pressured by ISI-bakced LeJ-SSP-Jundullah terrorists to refrain from damning reports and articles against terrorist activities by such organisations. Ironically, the same journalists are also under pressure from some government institutions to refrain from publishing the statements issued by the banned terrorist outfits. At a recent hearing, the Baluchistan High Court threatened to imprison journalists for six months if they publish the statements of militant organizations (SSP-LeJ) that have been banned because of their involvement in violence and terror. The court said the publication of the groups’ activities glorifies violence, and has little sympathy for the journalists’ plight. “If you can’t face the pressure then stop publishing newspapers,” Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Essa told reporters at the hearing. Journalists have not found understanding from the militant side. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) is an Islamic extremist group that aims to eradicate the minority Shia sect or convert its followers to Sunni Islam. On September 20, the group killed around 30 Shia pilgrims in an attack on a passenger bus. The LeJ wants newspapers to publish its press releases word for word, local journalists say. “The LeJ does not recognize the high court decree and forces reporters to violate the law,” said one senior journalist who requested anonymity for safety reasons. Reporters who have spoken to LeJ representatives on the phone say the organization insists that it has a “religious responsibility” to warn reporters at least three times before killing them. “If reporters defy our warning for a third time then we naturally get the religious endorsement to kill them,” a journalist in Baluchistan’s capital city Quetta cited an LeJ spokesman as saying. A newspaper editor, when contacted by this writer, said journalists would land in trouble if they dared to omit from the militants’ press releases the derogatory language denouncing the government. The threats are taken seriously. “It is scary how much these organizations already know about each reporter’s family, home address and travel routes. They say if they can kill top army officers, then journalists can’t escape either,” the editor said. (Source)