Defenders of Missing Persons Facing Threats
Mr Nasrullah Baloch, son of Dad Mohammad, chairperson of Voice of Baloch Missing Persons, has been receiving threats for more than a year from unknown persons who claim to be from the ISI to stop the campaign against disappearances and extrajudicial killings. His two brothers were told by persons from the intelligence agencies that if they cannot stop their brother then he would be ‘dealt with’.
According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, on 25 and 26 March, Baloch was present in a Supreme Court hearing where he was representing the cases filed for the recovery of missing persons. Military and intelligence officers also attended the court proceedings. During the hearing representatives from the Norwegian mission arrived to attend the hearing regarding a Norwegian citizen, Mr. Ehsan Arjumandi. Mr. Arjumandi has been missing since August 2009, after his arrest by plain clothed persons, who claimed to be officials from an intelligence agency.
The head of the Norwegian mission also talked to Nasrullah Baloch about the cases proceeding on missing persons during the court break hour. The military officers present saw this exchange and made angry and threatening signs towards Baloch. At the conclusion of the court proceedings he was followed overtly by plain clothed persons back to his hotel where he was staying in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.
On 26 March, after the court hearing he went to his travel agent for the confirmation of his flight back to Quetta, the intelligence officials followed him. At the Blue Area market they stopped Nasrullah and demanded that he show them the air ticket. They tore up the air ticket and said him, “You are traitor and briefing the Norwegian mission, the foreigners about the missing persons”. They threatened him that if he does not stop maligning the security and intelligence agencies he would be killed, just like other persons.
In the evening when he was proceeding to the airport he was stopped at a check post and was thoroughly searched. As he proceeded further after clearance, he was again stopped by plain clothed persons who demanded to search his luggage as they had information that he was carrying arms with him. He was also subjected to a body search again before being allowed to go.
As he entered the airport lounge a person approached and told him that he had been lucky this time because they could have put a pistol in his luggage during the search so that he could be arrested for carrying arms into an aircraft for bad intentions. He also told Baloch that they had searched his hotel room where he was staying and that no place is out of their reach. Baloch was threatened again not to visit courts for the cases of missing persons and not to internationalise the issue otherwise he will suffer severe punishment.
He was also threatened for pursuing the cases of mass graves in a tribunal formed by the orders of the Supreme Court, which were found in Balochistan. He is helping the Tribunal on the instructions of the Supreme Court as the government was hiding the actual numbers of the mass graves.
Before the incident in Islamabad, on 27 October, 2013 when the VBMP started the long march from Quetta to Karachi, a distance of 730 kilometers, while Nasrullah was leading the march, his younger brother, Mohammad Sami Ullah, was picked up in a vehicle by plain clothed persons. He was tortured and released after they threatened him to convey a message to his brother to stop the long march, “Otherwise”, they said, “They know how to stop such things”.
In the month of November, When Nasrullah Baloch went to hospital for the treatment of his son, his other brother, also younger, Niaz Ahmed Baloch, was sitting outside the hospital in a car. Armed personnel came to him and threatened him that if his brother does not stop activities on the issue of disappearances he will be, “dealt with in a wrong way”. Nasrullah informed the Supreme Court about the threats he was receiving from the intelligence agencies during the proceedings on 5 and 6 November, 2013. The Chief Justice ordered and directed the government to provide him security, but this official order of the court was ignored by the government and the police.
In the month of September, 2012, when the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances came to Balochistan, a delegation of VBMP met with them regarding the missing persons’ cases. After a few days the chairman and vice chairman of the VBMP received threats. Nasrullah and other people submitted an application in the Supreme Court of Pakistan about the threats they were receiving and the chief justice directed the police to file a FIR regarding the threats.
This Supreme Court order was personally handed over to the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Quetta by Nasrullah. The CCPO told the Station House Officer (SHO) in front of Nasrullah to register the FIR. However, as some officers told Nasrullah, the police completely ignored the orders of the court because of the pressure exerted by the military.
Enforced disappearances in the country are wide spread and the law enforcement agencies including the military and paramilitary forces are involved. The absence of a proper criminal justice system and the failure of the rule of law are the basic causes of the disappearances. It has become an easy method for the state agents to keep persons in their custody for indefinite periods of time, torture and kill them without any evidence. The weakness of the justice system is evident as since 2001 the higher courts have failed to recover the missing persons. The military and other institutions, which are accused of responsibility for the disappearances, have shown their arrogance and distain by refusing to obey the courts orders.
The nationalists and the suspected terrorists from fundamentalist organisations are kept incommunicado, tortured and killed. The Pakistan Desk of the AHRC has extensively documented cases of disappearances and mobilized public and international opinion against the practice of disappearances by the military and other agencies. To eliminate the evidence of disappearances, the agencies kill the victims extrajudicially and dump their bullet riddled bodies on the road sides. Since July 2010 more than 500 dead bodies of missing persons were found in Balochistan province along; all bore signs of torture. The rights groups in Balochistan claim that more than 18,000 persons are missing, whereas in Sindh province the number claimed is 1,000, in Khyber Pakhtun Kha 2,000 and 100 from Punjab province.
By Ali Baloch
The Pakistani state is violating the international laws since her creation on 14th august 1947. The Pakistan first started violating the international norms by the military aggression and forceful occupation of the sovereign state of the Balochistan on 27th march 1948.The Baloch nation is fighting the illegal Pakistani occupation of the Balochistan from day first. The Pakistani state couldn’t make fool international community any longer by crying a foreign hand in Balochistan. Hang on a second! Pakistan first should explain her illegal presence in Balochistan? This is not a first time in the history that Balochs are resisting foreign invaders. Baloch had fought the Portugueese, Mongols, the British and even the Alexander the great but there was no such blames of any foreign involvement in Balochistan, but the Pakistan is trying to legitimize the genocide of the Baloch nation by labeling it as a foreign funded insurgency. The Pakistani occupiers should understand one thing that “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth”.
In 1971 the Pakistani army and its paramilitary arm groups the Albadr and Alshams killed three millions Bengali civilians selectively Students, Professors, Doctors, Engineers and many other intellectuals. Now in Balochistan the Pakistani army and its paramilitary arm groups the Musalah Difah,Sipah-e-Shuda,Ansar-ul-Islam killing the Baloch students, professors, Doctor, Engineers, Journalists, Human right defenders and intellectuals. The Pakistani military, FC, ISI, MI abducted more than 8,000 Baloch from all over Balochistan including 168 women , children and now killing them one by one and throwing their tortured bullet riddled dead bodies in the roadsides, mountains and deserts. The Pakistani terrorist military killed about 210 Baloch youths under custody in last few months.
Violence against women: Many Bengali women were tortured, raped and killed by the Pakistani forces during the war. Bangladeshi sources cite a figure of 200,000 women raped, giving birth to thousands of war-babies. The Pakistan Army also kept numerous Bengali women as sex-slaves inside the Dhaka Cantonment. Most of the girls were captured from Dhaka University and private homes.
The Pakistani forces are repeating the same crimes against the Baloch women in Balochistan. The occupying forces abducted 168 Baloch women and kept in secret cells and their whereabouts are unknown from several years.
A Baloch sister Ms. Zarina Marri, a 23-year-old school teacher from Balochistan , who has been held incommunicado in an army torture cell at Karachi, the capital of Sindh province and used as a sex slave which is also mentioned by the Asian Human Right Commission in one of their report. There are 100’s of other Baloch sisters who are missing after military operations in Balochistan, they are definitely held by the Pakistani military like the Zarina Marri.The Pakistani forces acid attack on Baloch girls in Kalat, Dalbandin, Noshki towns, and warn to attack Baloch women in future if they will come out of the houses.The Baloch women are playing vital role in the Baloch freedom struggle and Pakistan is too much afraid of their active role and that’s the only reason Pakistani forces attacking Baloch women.
Violence against minorities: The minorities of Bangladesh, especially the Hindus, were specific targets of the Pakistan army. More than 60% of the Bengali refugees who fled to India were Hindus.In Balochistan the Pakistani forces are killing and abducting Hindus. More than two dozen Hindu families in Balochistan have sought political asylum in India after an increase in cases of kidnapping for ransom and target killings of the members of their community in Balochistan.The Baloch are protecting the minorities in Balochistan from several hundred years and the Hindus holy worship places like Hinglaj Mata temple on the Makran coast and Kali Kalat temple in Kalat are protected by the secular Baloch nation from the ISI which supports and promotes extremist groups like Taliban, Lashkar-e-Tayaba, Sipah-e-Sahaba.
Violence against students: The Dhaka University was the center of the Bangladesh independence movement. The Dhaka University students greatly contributed to the liberation of Bangladesh.In March of 1971 the Pakistani Armed Forces chief General Yahya Khan and the politician Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, launched Operation Searchlight to demolish the independence demand of Bengalis. The Pakistani army convoy attacked the Dhaka University on 25 March, 1971 with heavy weapons such as tanks, automatic rifles, rocket launchers, heavy mortar, light machine gun, around 300 students were killed and hundreds injured.
The Pakistani para military force Frontier Core (FC) attack on the Khuzdar Engineering University during a Balochi cultural day celebration by hand grenades on 2nd march 2010 resulted two Baloch students killed and more than two dozens badly injured. The (BSO-A) Baloch Student Organisation Azaad organized an event at High School Tump in memory of the Baloch freedom fighter Shaheed Meerjan Meeral who was killed by the Pakistani forces. The Pakistani forces attacked the High school Tump on 6th September 2009 during the event where hundreds of students were gathered to pay their rich tributes to the martyr freedom fighter. Pakistani forces rushed into the school premises and started firing on the participants of the event. Tear gasses were fired on the crowd and the participants were beaten badly by the forces, where young children and women were also victimized. The young Baloch student Mukhtar Baloch was killed and about 24 students critically injured.
The Univeristy of the Balochistan looks like the military cantonment than any university as dozens of the army vehicles are stationed in the premises with 100’s of the army personnels. The many students have been abducted from the university hostel ,some found dead while others are still missing. The high number of the Pakistan’s military in ‘UOB’ indicates the Dhaka university style massacre in the coming days.
The extra judicial killings and abductions of the Baloch youths turned faster after the press conference of the Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik during a visit in the Balochistan’s capital city of Quetta. Rehman Malik, has threatened to take action against the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the Baloch Students Organization (BSO) using brute force to “crush” those outfits. The human right situation of the Balochistan turned to the worse after Rehman Malik’s visit. The hundreds more Baloch youths abducted including students, political activists, journalists, teachers, human right activists and all of them tortured to the death in the military custody, so far 210 bullet riddled bodies of the youths found from different parts of Balochistan ,while the fate of 1000’s other still not known. But the abductions are still continue and everyday tortured dead bodies are appearing from the deserts ,mountains of the Balochistan. The most of the mutilated bodies are beyond any recognition as the corpses are several months old and in some cases few bodies found from the mass graves. In one of the such case the dead bodies of the Dr. Agha Abid Shah, a former vice chairman of the Baloch Students Organization Azaad (BSO-A), Abdul Sattar Baloch, a government school teacher and Safeer Baloch a political activist all were found from a mass grave. There are high chances that more mass graves would appear in future as the Pakistani military has abducted thousands of the Baloch.
The all of the victims were abducted by the Pakistani forces in the presence of eye witnesses but the Pakistani government keep denying the fact by alleging the foreign agencies like RAW and other forces are wearing the Pakistan’s military uniform are behind the abductions and killings of the Baloch youths, but no one is fool enough to buy the lies of the Pakistani state.Let assume it for a second if the foreign forces are behind all such incidents of abductions and killings of the Baloch activists , like in the case of Abdul Rehman Arif and Mehboob Wadhela who were abducted from Karachi and held several months in custody and their tortured dead bodies recovered from the coastal town of the Ormara ,just few steps away from the “Jinnah Naval Base” some 240 kilometers away from the Karachi.In the case of Faiz Mohammad Marri and Arif Noor, they were too abducted from their houses in Karachi.The body of the Arif Noor recovered from Windar town of Balochistan about 125 kilometers away from Karachi while the body of the Faiz Mohammad Marri found from the Quetta about 592 kilometers away from the Karachi.
If really the foreign forces are behind the abductions of the Baloch youths and roaming freely around the country then what is the credibility of the Pakistani forces? Isn’t a big failure of the already failed state??? The Osama Bin Laden was living for several years under the nose of the Pakistan’s military next to the one of the biggest military academy in Abbotabad, but the Pakistani Army,ISI keep saying that they were not aware of the Osama presence in a military town. The COAS Ashfaq Kayani ,ISI chief Shuja Pasha,IGFC Obaid Khattak and Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik listen you guys are not smart enough to hide your committed crimes in Balochistan by nominating the outside forces in the genocide of the Baloch nation without any prove.
According to the Pakistani government that the Military uniform is available in the market ,the outside forces are buying ,wearing and roaming across the country and defaming the already defamed Pakistani military. So what do you think the Pakistani nukes are safe?? Don’t you think the Talibans and Alqaida’s members have also an opportunity to buy and wear the Pakistan military uniforms ,steal the nukes and disappear without any clue. The Pakistan’s nukes should be fully dismantle before this world turn into real hell .The United Nation, European Union, International Criminal Court, International Human Right Groups ,International print and electronic media should immediately play their due role to pressurize the Pakistani state to stop violating the international laws and also make her accountable for committed crimes in Balochistan .Don’t give another chance to the Pakistani military to kill three million more in Balochistan like they did in Bangladesh.
The views shared in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the Aliawah, and Alaiwah takes no responsibility for them.
Ali Baloch is a freelance journalist and can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org