Month: November 2011

Balochistan: Increased Body Count Stokes Fear and Frustration

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The discovery of two more bodies in Turbat has moved representatives from across the region’s political spectrum to unify and call for an end to military operations and targeted killings. 

Below is an article published by Business Recorder:

In a yet another case of suspected extra-judicial killings, two bodies were found dumped in the Aap Sar area of Turbat this week and identified as those of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) central information secretary, Jalil Reki, who belonged to Quetta, and Baloch National Movement (BNM) activist Mohammad Yunus, a resident of Panjgur.

And once again, Baloch nationalists announced a three-day shutter-down strike in the restive province to protest the killings.

There have been so many cases of such killings over the past several months that it is difficult to keep a count of them.

Respected human rights groups, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, have been pointing an accusatory finger at the agencies.

Ironically enough, bodies of the Baloch dissidents arrested by armed men have been appearing with greater frequency than before, ever since the Balochistan High Court started taking notice of ‘enforced disappearances’.

Use of force in situations like the one prevailing in Balochistan has never helped achieve the desired results.

If anything, it reinforces a people’s sense of victimhood, strengthening their resolve to fight on.

No wonder, Baloch leaders expressing anger and frustration with this policy represent all shades of the political spectrum, from extremists to pro-federation moderate parties and leaders, including the ruling Peoples Party’s own appointed Governor, Chief Minister and the party’s provincial chief.

For a month, PPP MNA, Syed Nasir Ali Shah, staged a sit-in in front of the Parliament House to protest his party’s failure to stop targeted killings of political activists and members of the minority Shia Hazara community.

From time to time, other Baloch legislators in Parliament have also been trying to draw the government’s attention to the fact that in many parts of the province flying the national flag or singing the anthem is no longer possible.

Reminiscent of a dark chapter of this country’s own history, these things show how deep run the anti-federation feelings in Balochistan.

The present PPP-led government at the Centre has made some attempts, albeit feebly, to address old Baloch grievances, but it has done little to resolve the issues that now feed the insurgency.

The situation being what it is, Baloch demands are quite reasonable: end military operations, and give an account for all the ‘missing’ people.

The powers-that-be are in negotiations with the tribal areas-based violent extremists fighting the state.

There is no reason why the same policy cannot be adopted towards the Baloch insurgents/nationalists.

While trying to convince Nasir Ali Shah on Wednesday [23 November 2011] to end his sit-in, Prime Minister Gilani said: “targeted killing in the province is unacceptable.” Of course, no civilised person can support such activity.

But words alone are not enough.

He must translate his words into action, and do all it takes to stop custodial killings, targeted murders of the Hazara community members, and also resolve other issues that deepen Baloch alienation from the federation.

A grand reconciliation plan is in order.


PAKISTAN: 16 journalists killed and 47 were injured in different incidents during the eleven months of 2011

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The AHRC would be grateful if journalist and human rights organisations could assist us to correct the list about the killing of the journalists which would help us for issuing the statement on the occasion of International Human Rights Day on December 10.

The security of the media persons remained a big question during the eleven months of 2011 and no proper steps have been taken to provide security by the authorities and even by the media houses. The attitude of the media houses was more indifferent towards the safety and security of journalists as compare with the authorities. The journalists who are involved in their professional duties in the conflict areas are more vulnerable and exposed before the law enforcement agencies, militant groups and other non state actors. The majority of the journalists are under paid or allowed to use only ID cards of the channels they work for and have to arrange their own earnings.

During the eleven months of 2011, journalists have faced the more insecurity and intolerance when compared with previous years. Indeed, there is no change from the military dictatorships of the past. 16 journalists were killed, among them five journalists were abducted by the state intelligence agencies, kept incommunicado in different torture cells, tortured and their bullet ridden bodies were dumped on the road side. Five journalists were killed in bomb blasts while performing their professional duties, six journalists were killed in target killings. One journalist remains missing after abduction by plain clothed persons.

The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) claims in its press release published by Express Tribune on June 11, 2011, that 10 journalists were killed in Balochistan this year and no investigation has been carried out. The BUJ has not provided a list of the names of those killed.

In different attacks on journalists and media houses 35 working journalists, 10 camera men, one photographer, two drivers and one satellite engineer of print media and television channels were injured during the attacks, thrashed by officials and beaten by different groups. Three television channels were attacked, one was attacked on two occasions, and one FM radio station was also attacked. Two television channels were banned to stop their broadcasts.

Balochistan to move SC for review of BHC verdict

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QUETTA: The Balochistan government decided to approach the Supreme Court against the verdict of the BHC which had declared the Code of Criminal Procedure (Balochistan Amendment) Act and Ordinance, 2010, null and void. The provincial government, during a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, decided to form a team comprised of law experts to approach the Supreme Court. The meeting strongly condemned the NATO air raids in Mohmand Agency and termed them an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty. Balochistan Advocate General Amanullah Kanrani briefed the government about the verdict of the Balochistan High Court over the Code of Criminal Procedure (Balochistan Amendment) Act and Ordinance, 2010. The ordinance was passed by the Balochistan Assembly and was meant to introduce executive magistracy in the province of Balochistan and to entrust it with judicial powers to conduct trials and impose punishments. The Balochistan government has the legal right to defend the legislation passed by the elected provincial assembly. A division bench comprised of Balochistan Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Muhammad Hashim Khan Kakar had declared the amendment null and void. Balochistan Bar Council and Judicial Commission of Pakistan Member Muhammad Kamran Khan Mulakhail had filed the petition. staff report

Systematic Genocide of Baloch continues by Pakistan. One more missing Baloch persons body found

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LASBELLA: Balochistan Levies recovered a bullet-riddled body from Kashari area on the outskirts of Lasbella on Sunday. Lasbella Assistant Commissioner Muhammad Afzal told APP that, acting on a tip-off, a Levies team reached the site and retrieved the body. The body was shifted to the district headquarters hospital where the victim was identified as Khair Bakhsh, son of Hasil Khan Umrani, resident of Awaran. The victim had received bullets in his head and chest, doctors said. The body was handed over to the heirs after legal formalities. Balochistan Levies is investigating the incident.

Relatives of Baloch missing people hold demo, VMBP boycott Pakistani commission

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Two more bodies recovered and four other Baloch have been abducted from different areas of Balochistan

Occupied Balochistan – Dozens of relatives of Baloch missing persons, including women and children on Saturday staged a demo outside Quetta Press Club to protest against discovery of mutilated bodies of Jalil Reki and Younus Baloch, and undue delay in recovery of other missing persons.

The protest was organised by Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) led by its Chairman Nasrullah Baloch. The VBMP also announced to boycott the Pakistani Commission, constituted to trace missing persons, and refused to appear before it on 28 November 2011. Instead, they urged the International Human Rights Organisation to intervene in Balochistan issue and take notice of Pakistani atrocities against Baloch people.

They feared that if prompt steps were not taken for release of Baloch enforced-disappeared political workers and youth who have been picking up by state intelligence agencies, they would be killed and dumped in the same style. They appealed to international humanitarian organizations, the United Nations and the Supreme Court to intervene.

The participants of the demo were carrying placards, portraits of their beloveds and banners inscribed with various demands. They were also shouting slogans appealing the world community to play their due role in halting kill and dump incidents in Balochistan.

Addressing the protestors, VBMP President Nasrullah Baloch, sister of Jalil Reki and Younus Baloch strongly condemned the killing of Baloch missing political workers and youths. They said that the state security agencies were continuously killing abducted Baloch activists before subjecting them to brutal and inhuman physical and mental torture. “The discovery of bullet-ridden bodies across Balochistan is a continuation of the massacre and genocide of Baloch Nation,” they said. Sister of Wodood Raisani said that Jalil Reki’s family has been protesting for his recovery from past three year but nobody heard their plea for help.

A message of Jalil Reki’s father Mr Qadeer Reki was also read at the protest: “My son has been murdered in an attempt to weaken the voice of the families of rest of the Baloch missing persons. However, I am proud of my son because he has sacrificed his life for mother land and Baloch Nation. We will continue our struggle for the recovery of Baloch missing persons.” In addition, talking to Vsh New, Balochi language TV channel, Qadeer Baloch revealed that a security official who requested not to be named has informed him that his son (Jalil Reki’s) body was thrown from a helicopter. He further said that the official also told him that his high ups (presumably MI, military Intelligence) later called him and informed about the identifications of the bodies as that of Jalil Reki and Younus Baloch.

Meanwhile the chairman of VBMP, Nasrullah Baloch, said that the commission, to trace missing people, constituted by federal government is due to visited Quetta on 28 November, 2011 but his organisation will not appear before the commission. “We have decided to boycott the commission and not to appear before it because the head of the commission is a retired judge of Supreme Court and he did not do any work for missing persons when he was serving as a judge. Hence, it is our final decision that we will not appear before this helpless commission.”

He also strongly condemned the brutal murder of Jalil Reki and Younus Baloch saying that ISI has kept Mr Reki in different torture locations in past three years and subjected him to brutal torture. He said several people who were lucky enough to be released from ISI’s custody have confirmed that they have seen Jalil Reki in their custody and being beaten up. “One of our delegation has met the CM of Balochistan; the chief minister (Aslam Raisani) had admitted that Jalil Reki was in custody of intelligence agencies. He assured us that he would soon be released but instead of returning him alive they sent his tortured and mutilated body to his family. ” He also vowed to continue the struggle for the release of rest of the Baloch abducted activists.

The sisters of Jalil Reki and Younus Baloch said that the current government has intensified killing Baloch activists as soon as they came in power. They said all previous government have also violated human rights of Baloch people and committed countless crimes; however, the current government has not only continued those crimes but further intensified them. They said they were proud of their beloved brother because they sacrificed their lives for motherland, Balochistan.

More abductions and killings: while Baloch mourn the death of Jalil Reki and Younus Baloch, Pakistan security forces abducted four more Baloch son of soil. In the early hours of 25 November, 2011, Wazeer Reki Baloch, a local journalist, was on his way to Mashkel Town when unknown plain-clothed armed men along with Frontier Corps (FC) stopped him. They checked his Identity Card to make sure he was the person they wanted and then whisked him away. According to eye-witnesses account the abductors also beaten up the Wazir Reki on scene of abduction.

Relatives informed media sources those six days before the abductions of Wazeer Khan; the Pakistani secret agencies had also abducted one of his nephews, Hamid Reki. The family members further said that Wazeer Reki and Abdul Hameed Reki were not affiliated with any political parties. The family has expressed grave concerns about their safety and well-being.

Separately, two Marri Baloch namely, Haji Gull Khan Marri, a tribal elder and Peerhan Marri have been abducted from Kohlu town and Chamalang areas. They were abducted on 21 and 22 of November 2011, respectively.

Bodies found: The bodies of BNM activist Naku Khair Bux Baloch was found from Lasbella district of Balochistan, on Sunday evening. Khair Bux was off-loaded from a passenger vehicle by FC on 27 October 2011 when he was on his way to Jahao his native area.

Similarly an unidentified boy of a youth was discovered from New Saryaab area of Quetta. The body has been shifted to hospital and kept in morgue for identifications. However, those who have seen the body said that from the appearances it matched the looks of a Baloch person.

Attack on convoy of OGDCL, 4 personel wounded.

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Occupied Balochistan : Baloch Republican Army fighters attacked a conoy of Oil and Gas exploring company in “Uch” area of Sui, Dera Bugti on Saturday.

According to the details, BRA fighters attacked a convoy of OGDCL (Oil and Gas Development Comapay Limited) with a remote controlled explosive device near Gas Well No 6 in “Uch” area of Sui, Dera Bugti.

As a result, the vehicle was destroyed and 4 personnel of the company sustained injuries.

Baloch Republican Army warns the company to drop all its on going projects and quit Balochistan or else it will face heavy attacks.

Pakistani forces killed another senior activist of BNM

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Occupied Balochistan:Another bullet riddled body found from Lasbella district of Balochistan, on Sunday evening.The body identified as Naku Khair Bux Baloch , a senior activist of Baloch National Movement (BNM). Khair Bux Baloch was off-loaded from a passenger vehicle by Pakistani paramilitary force FC and secret agencies on 27 October 2011 ,when he was on his way to Jahao his native town.

It’s pertinent to mention here that Naku Khair Bux’s cousin Faraz Naseem Baloch was abducted from Hub Chowki on 09/10/2011,when he was coming home along with his friend Umair Ali.Later the bullet riddled bodies of Faraz Naseem and his friend Umair Ali found from Windar area of district Lasbela on 3rd November 2011.

Similarly an unidentified body of a youth was discovered from New Saryaab area of Quetta. The body has been shifted to hospital and kept in morgue for identifications. However, those who have been the body said that from the appearances matches the looks of a Baloch person.