A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
The bullet riddled bodies of nine more missing persons including one journalist were found
The disappearances and extrajudicial killings continue and not a single day goes by without the abduction and murder of activists. The family members of disappeared persons who were holding a protest meeting and token hunger strike outside the Quetta Press Club at the capital of Balochistan province were warned by some plain clothed persons that they should wind up their meeting otherwise they would face serious problems.
Since July 2010 to date, there have been 215 extrajudicial killings of missing persons.
It is also reported that police and plain clothed persons had approached the newspaper hawkers and book stalls and stopped them not to keep the Daily Tawar which generally vocal on the actions of military and Para-Military forces against the people of Balochistan.
The group, Reporters without Borders (RSF) has shown its outrage at the murder of Javed Naseer Rind, former deputy editor of the newspaper, which is close to nationalist and pro-independence groups in Balochistan. His body was found on November 5 in the Khuzdar district, south of the Baloch capital Quetta. He was abducted on September 9 from his computer shop by persons in plain clothes. His friends and family members say they were from the state intelligence agency as they identified themselves to the people who were gathered about while he was being dragged into a four wheel jeep bearing no registration number. Such is the arrogance of the people from these agencies that they have no fear in disclosing their identities. Rind’s body was found in Ghazgi Chowk in Khuzdar, 300 km south of Quetta in the southwest Pakistan. His bullet-riddled body showed signs of torture and bore a message identifying him.
The list of missing persons grows longer each day. Some of those recovered include:
Abdul Samad Tagrani, an activist of Baloch Nationalist Movement, was also abducted by armed men from the intelligence agencies on the same day and from the same area of Hub Town, Balochistan. He was taken in front of the Zahid Medical Store and his bullet riddled body was found on 3rd November 2011 miles away from Khuzdar.
From Wndar, district Lasbela, Balochistan province, the bullet riddled bodies of Faraz Naseem, son of Urfat Naseem and Umair Ali, the cousin of Faraz, were found. The bodies bore signs of brutal torture. Faraz Naseem and Umair Ali were abducted on October 9, 2011 from industrial town of Hub in Balochistan by the plain clothed persons who also claimed to be from an intelligence agency.
The sister of the victim, Faraz Baloch, told a press conference that her brother and her cousin Khair Bux Baloch had been abducted by Pakistan’s Intelligence agencies.
”My brother, Faraz Baloch, has been abducted from Hub Chowki, Balochistan, on October 9, 2011 at around 4 pm when he was coming home along with his friend Umair Ali. While my cousin Khair Bux Baloch was offloaded from a passenger bus on October 27, 2011 when he was traveling from Karachi to his home in district Jhao, Balochistan.”
Two of the three missing persons were found, their bodies bearing marks of torture and bullet wounds but the whereabouts of Khair Bux is unknown.
Two bullet riddled bodies were found and later identified as those of Mohammad Naheem and Mehboob Baloch from Nshki, Balochistan. They had been subjected to the severe torture the marks of which were visible on their bodies. Their family members claim that both youths were abducted by the Pakistan military and secret agencies.
Another bullet riddled body of a Baloch youth was found from the Kappar area of Pasni town, Balochistan and later identified as Moula Baksh son of Ibrahim and he was a resident of Nalent district Gwadar, miles away from Pasni. It was estimated that he had been dead for about three days.
The two bullet riddled bodies of Baloch youths were found from Turbat, Balochistan in the early hours of November 6, 2011.The bodies were identified as Gohram Baloch son of Khalid, a resident of Mand and he was the former president of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) Mand. The other person was identified as Ayyam son of Mohammad Umer, a resident of Mand. Both the victims were abducted in the month of October.
The two bullet-riddled bodies of unidentified persons were recovered from Mastung and Quetta, Balochistan. In the first incident, Levies Force personnel recovered body from Dasht area of Mastung and moved the body to a hospital for an autopsy. Levies sources said the victim was shot in his head and marks of torture were visible on his body. In the second incident, police recovered a body from Sabzal road of Quetta. Police shifted the body to hospital for a postmortem and said that he had been shot dead. However, the identity of the victim is not yet known.
The disappearances and extra judicial killings have become endemic in Pakistan particularly, in Balochistan where the government is virtually ineffective before the military forces and armed groups. Such cases of disappearances are pending in the higher courts particularly, in the Supreme Court but the process is so slow that it never prevents the law enforcement agencies and armed groups to cease the killings. A special commission is also working under a former senior judge of the Supreme Court but as far as the military and its intelligence agencies are concerned the law and the courts cannot stop them. The higher judiciary has still not shown any courage or willingness to call either the army or its intelligence agencies into court and inquire about the complaints from the family members of the victims who openly accuse the Frontier Corps and military intelligence agencies of the abductions and killings.
The Balochis are being cornered not only by the state machineries but also by the courts who ignore the cases of disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Balochis in the hundreds. The higher courts show much more interest in probing the cases of disappearances of the Jihadis from banned militant organizations. In many cases it was found that many Jihadis, who were missing, have joined the Taliban and Al-Qaida forces but courts do not go for the recovery of missing persons from Balochistan and Sindh who are not religious but nationalists and secular. The families of the disappeared persons blame the judiciary for covertly supporting the armed forces in their designs to punish the nationalist and non militant religious people.
That the government of Pakistan and the provincial government of Balochistan are turning a blind eye to the ongoing slaughter of civilian activists is clear evidence of their connivance with the security forces. As these official government bodies refuse to take action to half the forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of activists the Asian Human Rights Commission urges the international community to intervene in the matter.
Pakistan must adhere to the pledges and promises it made to the Human Rights Council when it applied for membership. If the killings continue, and there is no sign that they will not, the responsibility will fall firmly on the shoulders of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani.