Month: January 2012

Is Pakistan heading for disaster in Balochistan?

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Pakistan must end its policy of killings and kidnappings of Baloch people and recognise the importance of the region.
Washington, DC – The behaviour of the powerful elite of Islamabad reminds me of the captain and crew of the RMS Titanic sailing into the night, heading straight towards an iceberg. The civilian, military and judicial authorities are locked up in a tussle coloured by political positions and personal egos. And there is a dangerous disconnect between Islamabad and the enormous problems that loom on the Pakistani horizon.

Law and order appears to have collapsed in many parts of the country. In the north-east, the former Frontier Province, there are daily killings as suicide bombers and the army continuously fight each other. Unemployment is widespread and inflation is sky-high. And there is still a desperate shortage of electricity and gas in much of the country.

But perhaps none of these problems is more pressing than the situation in Balochistan. If the simmering, but widespread movement for independence spins out of control, Pakistan will find it almost impossible to maintain nationhood.

I was reminded of Balochistan by the recent visit of Malik Siraj Akbar to my office. It made me happy to think back to my associations with its people and places, but I also became distressed as I thought of the current situation: a climate of killings and so-called “disappearances”.
In his late twenties, Malik comes from Makran and was born in its northern town, Panjgur. His sharp intelligence, awareness of the world and passionate arguments for his people reminded me of all the people I met in Makran as Commissioner when I was posted there in the mid-1980s.

On arrival, what struck me was the resilience and faith of the Baloch, in spite of the widespread poverty and lack of economic development. Even after decades of the country’s existence, Pakistan – it seemed – had done very little for the Baloch. There were only five miles of paved road in Makran – from the Commissioner’s house, in Turbat, to the tiny airport. Flights were irregular and the telephone lines to the rest of the country were frequently out of order.

A land of honour

But I found it a fascinating experience: the people were welcoming and the area was redolent of history. Makran was, after all, where Alexander the Great got lost on his way to Persia after his battles in India. Over time, I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know legendary Baloch leaders such as Nawab Akbar Bugti, Mir Ghaus Bukh Bizenjo, Jam Ghulam Qadir and Mir Jafar Khan Jamali. From them, I learned that there was a time when a woman wearing gold ornaments could travel from the north of Balochistan to the south and not be molested.

“There was honour,” they said, “in the land.”
But I found it a fascinating experience: the people were welcoming and the area was redolent of history. Makran was, after all, where Alexander the Great got lost on his way to Persia after his battles in India. Over time, I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know legendary Baloch leaders such as Nawab Akbar Bugti, Mir Ghaus Bukh Bizenjo, Jam Ghulam Qadir and Mir Jafar Khan Jamali. From them, I learned that there was a time when a woman wearing gold ornaments could travel from the north of Balochistan to the south and not be molested.

“There was honour,” they said, “in the land.”

Nawab Bugti discussed Ibn Khaldun and the cyclical patterns of tribal society with me over dinner in his ancestral home in the Bugti Agency. He told me that Ibn Khaldun had kept him company when he was jailed by Pakistani authorities in Sahiwal. I often wondered how many Pakistanis belonging to the power elite had even heard of the Arab historian.

I grew to appreciate and admire the Baloch. I knew it was most important to deal with them on the basis of honour. In turn, they reciprocated my sentiments and I was posted as Commissioner of three divisions consecutively. Even the imperial British acknowledged that the key to dealing with the Baloch was honour. Not surprisingly, the Baloch complain that Pakistani officials treat them worse than the imperial British.

Malik, who has been a professional journalist all his life, has recently been given political asylum in the United States. Various threats and messages convinced him his life was in danger. He talks passionately and movingly of the hundreds of Baloch who have been brutally killed by the security agencies.

The policy of “kill and dump” is causing fear and terror among the Baloch.


Two bullet-riddled bodies found in Chagai

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Occupied Balochistan: Two bullet-riddled bodies were found in Chagai district on Friday.

BBC Urdu reported that bodies were found in Ameenabad and Yak Mach areas of Chagai and were shifted to Civil Hospital in Dalbandin to ascertain their identities.

According to a local journalist, Ali Dost, the bodies quite old. Both the victims has bullet wound in their chest and head which is why it was difficult to determine their identity.

According the Voice for Baloch Missing Person around 14000 Baloch have been abducted since Musharraf’s era and so far over 360 mutilated bodies have been recovered from deserted areas in Balochistan.

It must be noted that Supreme Court of Pakistan has constituted two commissions to bring abducted person to surface. But families of enforced-disappeared persons say that after the setting up of commissions the bullet-ridden and mutilated bodies of their loved ones have started to appear.

The Voice for Baloch Missing Person’s protest enters 638th day

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Occupied Balochistan: Families of abducted Baloch and victims of state terrorism continue their token hunger-strike protest in front of Karachi Press Club. The protest is led by Abdul Qadeer Baloch, Vice chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Person, whose own son Jaleel Reki’s bullet-ridden body was found on 22, November 2011 from Turbat.
The protest against the abduction of Baloch activists and the on-going kill & dump policy has yesterday entered its 638th day, during this period the families of Baloch abducted persons have been protesting in front of press clubs in Quetta, Karachi and Islamabad. Several times they have been assured by the Supreme Court of Pakistan that their cases will be hear but all those promised were tricks to calm them down, deceived them and give more time to Pakistan brutal security forces to continue their atrocities in Balochistan. Instead of helping them the personnel of Pakistani security forces had threaten them of dire consequences if they continue their protest.
On Friday a delegation of Sindh Awami Tehreek (Sindh National Movement) led by Khalid Tahno visited the protest camp at Karachi Press Club to express his solidarity with the families of Baloch martyrs and abducted activists. Talking to participants of the protest the Sindhi leader said that Baloch and Sindhi were owners of sovereign states. They had their own distinct language, culture and tradition. He said that every patriot Baloch and Sindhi was ready for any sort of sacrifice to regain their freedom.
Qadeer Baloch thanked the delegation and said that Baloch have always stood by Sindhies. He said that Culture, Language and Motherland are the true identity of a Nation. “No Nation should be enslaved by others, all human being are born free and wish to live free.” Baloch are struggling for freedom, their natural and birth right, said Qadeer Baloch.

Houses of innocent Baloch sat on fire, 10 abducted during military operation in Naseerabad, Balochistan – Sher Mohammad Bugti

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Sher Mohammad Bugti, the central spokesman of Baloch Republican Party, said on twitter that operations of Pakistani military continue in different parts of Balochistan including Dera Bugti, Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and adjoining areas.

He further said “Occupying Pakistani para-military force (FC) is conducting a massive operation against innocent Baloch in Sohbat pur, Daraabi and other adjoining areas of Naseerabad and Jaffarabad since last two days. Dozens of houses of innocent Bugti Balochs have been set on fire by the occupying forces”

Moreover, 10 Baloch were abducted from different areas during the operation, 3 of them were identified as Baggi s/o Khana, Pazol s/o Meeral and Kamisa s/o Nippa and identity of other abducted Balochs remains unknown due to heavy blockade of the areas by occupying forces

International community remains uninformed to military operations and genocide of Baloch nation because of lack of interest and hypocrisy of Pakistani media and threats and danger to the Baloch journalists who are voluntarily working to attract the attention of international media and community towards the human rights violations in Balochistan committed by forces of the occupying state pakistan

Three bullet riddled bodies of Baloch youths found in first 3 days of the New Year

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Occupied Balochistan:Brutally tortured and bullet-ridden bodies of three abducted Baloch youths found from Dasht ,Quetta and Turbat towns of Balochistan.

According to the details body of Babu Saleem Badini, a resident of Machh town, was found in Dhori area of Dasht, Balochistan on the first day of year 2012. The victim was abducted around a month ago from Quetta.

Eye-witnesses reported that victim’s body bore sign of brutal torture and he was shot in the head.The wounds suggested that he had been subjected to severe torture before shooting him dead.

Separately, a tortured body was found dumped in Eastern Bypass near BC complex in Quetta.According to police sources he was blind folded and his hands were tied.A note found from the pocket of the body read: “Wazir Khan, supporter of BLA, every cruel person’s destiny is death”.

The body was later shifted to hospital for identification where he was recognised as the body of Wazir Khan Marri S/O Qaym Khan a resident of New Kahan Quetta.Marri owned a small general store in Haraz Ganji Bus stand.Sources said that Wazir Khan Marri was abducted in September 2011 from his shop.

Marri’s body was later handed over to his relatives.He will be buried in Shohda-e-Balochistan cemetery in New Kahan Quetta on Tuesday (Today).

Wazir Khan Marri was an immediate cousin of Faiz Mohammad Marri who was abducted on 6-11-2010 along with his cousin Khan Mohammad Marri. Faiz’s body was found on 2nd March 2011 whereas his cousin Khan Mohammd is still being held by Pakistani security forces at some undisclosed location.

Meanwhile third body of Baloch youth found today on (03-01-12) from Turbat.According to the local sources Levies force found a bullet riddled body from Kherabad area of Lalein in Turbat.The Levies shifted the victim’s body in local hospital,where he was identified as Jameel s/o Mulla Abdul Samad,a resident of Kantidar Dasht

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistani security forces have extra judicially killed over 360 abducted Baloch activists under-custody since July 2010 to December 2011. The latest bodies were found days after the announcement of Pakistan’s PM Mr Gilani that 2012 will be Balochistan year. Baloch political parties had already predicted that by giving such statement the PM has meant to dump more bodies of abducted Baloch activists.

Baloch Freedom Movement: Resistance Organisations continue their attacks against occupying forces

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Occupied Balochistan: At least four paramilitary troops were killed on Sunday in a landmine explosion in Balochistan, which has been in the throes of a deadly tribal insurgency and ethnic violence.

“A vehicle carrying paramilitary Frontier Corps troops hit a landmine in the restive Sui area of Dera Bugti,” media sources reported. In the ensuing explosion four troops were killed and two wounded.

The troops were on a routine patrol in the region when their vehicle hit the landmine planted by Baloch freedom fighters.

Soon after the incident, security forces rushed to the site to ferry the casualties to a nearby state-run hospital. The dead were identified as Qasim, Shadi Khan, Qudratullah and the fourth name not be confirmed immediately– all low-ranking officers.

The Baloch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack and added that the convoy of FC was attacked in Aasreli area of Sui. Sarbaz Baloch, the group’s spokesperson’ said that they targeted the vehicle of paramilitary troops. He said it was a remote controlled blast which killed at least eight soldiers and injured several others.

Sui: Separately, Baloch fighters blew up an 8-inch diameter gas pipeline in the Pirkoh area of Dera Bugti on Sunday. As a result, the gas supply from Well No 22 to the Purification Plant has been suspended.

It is pertinent to note that the fighters of BRA have been attacking gas pipeline in Sui, Dera Bugti and surrounding areas on constant basis from past few days.

Hub Chowki: At least five people, including three policemen, were wounded in a hand grenade attack in Hub, industrial town of Balochistan, on Saturday night.

According to details, a police mobile was passing from Sirat Chowk when unidentified armed men hurled a hand grenade at it. The grenade exploded with a huge blast injuring three policemen and two others. The injured policemen were identified as Sarwar, Shahid and Hameed.

The attackers have managed to escape safely after the incident.