Enforced Disappearances and extra judicial killings: Systematic Genocide in Balochistan
Date 2012-08-30 | Topic: Articles
|By Nawaz Bugti|
Sit back and relax, take a little time, thinking of any suitable word for the feelings of Mehlab Baloch, an eight year old baby, carrying a play card in a protest camp against illegal abduction and enforced disappearance of her father, in scorching sun of Islamabad. I bet you fail, even in case of your mother tongue. Because enforced disappearance is such an inhuman act that even imagination of the pain of victim’s family is not possible for any one in senses. It is impossible for anyone to realize the painful situation of these tormented families that how do they live with uncertain fate of their beloved ones. There isn’t any suggested therapy for this sort of enforced empty nest syndrome by the psychologists, world over.
It is not a new phenomena, but tragic incidents of Balkan conflict, unfortunate Tamil youth and ill-fated children of Africa drawn the serious attention of international community towards enforced disappearances. In early nineties International organizations of human rights took some initiatives, while on December 18, 1992 United Nations adopted a declaration on the protection of individuals from enforced disappearance which is known as resolution 47/133 under same title. Moreover, the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance entered into force on 23 December 2010 and August 30, 2011. It was the First UN International Day of the Disappeared. United Nations Working Group on Enforced or involuntary Disappearances called it “a special day to spotlight this heinous crime, and to remind victims, including the families and associations of victims of those who disappeared, that they are not alone”, in their statement issued at First UN International Day of the Disappeared .
War is definitely terrible of all the situations, and in war both combatants and non combatants suffer alike. Baloch Nation is in literal war like situation with a military monster of the region – Pakistan.
As military has been ruling Pakistan since its creation with the help of notorious secret agencies and political goons, so they are the real master of all in the land of so called pure, where nothing is pure in-fact, except terrorism. Unethical Inter Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence commonly known as ISI and MI respectively, keep abducted Baloch men and women in their torture cells with impunity. Beside their famous torture cells of Kulli Camp-Quetta and Bureeda Camp-Winder, they have network of interrogation centers spread all over Balochistan, known as Field Investigating Units or FIUs. Fifth columns of Pakistani military, like so called Peace Force, Sipah-e-Shuhda, and Balochistan Mutahida Mahaz are helping hands of their masters to carry out systematic ethnic cleansing of Baloch Nation. Pakistani military abducted thousands of Baloch youth, and hundreds are killed and dumped, the number of unidentified graves is increasing by the passage of the time. There is a huge cry from human right organs; while Punjabi oppressor think it is foolishly clever, trying to make fool the entire world by denying any violation of human rights. They think this sort of inhuman war technique is purely their own devilish creativity and they can keep the truth hidden.
The Baloch Republican Party, the Baloch Students Organization – BSO AZAD, the Baloch National Movement, the Baloch National Voice and other stake holders, terms the Baloch genocide as a literal holocaust, which they believe is more intense than the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims by Serb Armies. Recent findings of Pakistani Supreme Court justify their claim. Though the Supreme Court of Pakistan is dictated by Pakistani military establishment, and Justice is limited inside defined lines, but due to irrefutable video evidences produced in the court by local police, made the Chief Justice to make a categorical observation that “People are abducted by FC (a paramilitary force) in day light.”
Parliament of Balochistan consists of all paid stooges of ISI, but the violation of human rights on such a massive scale forced the sitting ministers to speak truth. Mr.Sadiq Umrani, Provincial Minister for Communication and Works, speaking at assembly floor revealed “I was on my way to Quetta, with provincial Minister for Interior Affairs Mr.Zafar Zahri, and another Minister, we witnessed FC arrested three Balochs from main highway, two days later their mutilated dead bodies were dumped in a waste site.”
Instead of any serious probe, on the advice of military, Chief Minister sacked Mr.Sadiq Umrani, and handed over his port folio to a well known drug trafficker. Moreover, his younger brother Mr. Abdulsattar Umrani was abducted by the same forces to teach a lesson to said minister for his future endeavors.
According to Baloch Voice for Missing Persons – an NGO working for the safe release of abducted Baloch, more than 14,000 Baloch men and women have been abducted in recent years, while five hundred plus mutilated bodies have surfaced so far, all of them were abducted by Pakistani military in presence of their family and folks. The victims were subjected to brutal torture before they were killed in-custody and their bodies dumped in desolated areas.
Abducting a person means destroying their entire family that includes their childen’s education, deprivation of livelihood, severe mental distress and in certain cases they lose their shelter even. In case of Mr.Rauf S/o Meer Jan Marri ten members of the single family have been abducted by Pakistani military in provincial capital Quetta. Guess how he scratches survival for the rest of his family, who will fight for the rights and release of his family members?
Mr.Ali Asghar Bangulzai is missing till date from his abduction at October 18, 2002. His abduction by ISI was once confirmed by than Corps Commander Quetta, General Abdul Qadir. Afterwards at the pressure of military establishment he denied to own his previous statements and made a better deal for himself. General (Rtd) Abdul Qadir is member of the central committee of Punjabi main stream political party –Pakistan Muslim League (N), and Member of National Assembly now.
Sangat Sana Baloch, an active member of Baloch Republican Party and former Senior Vice President of BSO-AZAD, was abducted from Mastung at December 07, 2009, photographic evidence of his custody along with the official record of the concerned Police Station were produced in the court of law, but arrogant and inhuman military of this rouge, naïve and fragile state killed him, his mutilated body was found dumped with several marks of torture and thirty bullet wounds at February 13, 2012. His family died every moment for 798 long days.
Mr.Nadeem Afzal Gondal, a legislator of ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party said, “I am not afraid of any one and I have submitted my report in which it was proved that a serving colonel killed the Baloch student leader”.
According to reports he was answering a question in the National Assembly regarding an inquiry of a Baloch Student`s murder in Khuzdar, as he was head of the inquiry committee. Report of Mr.Gondal is sent to dormant and there does not seem any action to be taken against the culprits mentioned, as the history of military shows.
Immoral Pakistani military did not even spare the Baloch women, Banuk Zarina Marri, Bibi Sabhai and Wazeeran Bibi are few among the scores of Baloch women abducted by Pakistani military. Their fate still remains unknown. Pakistani forces have stinking reputation of mistreating women during war of liberation of Bengladesh in 1970 – then East Pakistan. Baloch fear the shameless Pakistani State may not feel any embarrassment to manage unofficial brothels, as it is famous for Pakistanis that they can sell their mothers for a few cents.
A Baloch man, who was arrested by a state agency and kept in military torture cell almost for nine months, narrated the story of Banuk Zarina Marri, to Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontiers, RSF), the International Red Cross, and at Woolwich Court in London. The current whereabouts of the young woman are not known. It has been asserted by these HR organs that “women who are fighting for the liberation of Balochistan are being arrested by the state agencies and being forced into sex slavery in their custody”.
The provincial chief minister, Aslam Raisani, told the BBC that the security forces were "definitely" guilty of some killings. In a hearing in Supreme Court, the province's top lawyer, Salahuddin Mengal, told the Supreme Court that FC was "lifting people at will".
Precedents tell us that individuals are abducted either to suppress unwanted voices, or to detain those who do not match the ideology of dominating party. But in case of Balochistan it is more likely the situation of Balkan conflict. Enforced disappearances in Balochistan are even more dangerous, because it is clear Pakistani State is carrying out a systematic ethnic cleansing of Baloch Nation, very silently. That includes extra-judicial killing of political leaders, intellectuals, Students, professionals, poets and artists.
Political Vanguard, abducted, killed and dumped
As political leadership of any nation is considered as the vanguard and its political leadership who can manage a coherent procedural path to achieve their national goals. Therefore they naturally get targeted at first. A weak ideology may not sustain the losses of political figures and it becomes easy for invaders to secure their oppressing position much longer. Military mafia of Pakistan followed the same pattern, after directly targeting Baloch leadership Nawab Muhammad Akbar Khan Bugti, Nawabzada Balach Marri and their Comrades; they started abductions at large scale.
Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Baloch –President of Baloch National Movement, Mr. Sher Muhammad Baloch – Joint Secretary of Baloch Republican Party and Lala Munir Baloch- General Secretary of Baloch National Front were among the early victims. These veteran Baloch leaders were abducted from the chamber of their lawyer after getting bail from the apex court. Just after five days their dead bodies were thrown from a military helicopter in Peedarak area of Turbat Balochistan. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan finds “as per the eye witness statement and previous abduction cases of the Baloch leaders show that the secret security forces of Pakistan had abducted the three Baloch Nationalist leaders.”
Jaleel Reki – Central Information Secretary of Baloch Republican Party (BRP), a hard rock nationalist was abducted and kept in confinement for 1012 days. When military failed to break the man of steel and iron nerves they just killed and dumped him in Aap Sar area of Turbat. In the case of Reki the Chief Minister of Balochistan himself confirmed that Jaleel Reki had been arrested by ISI, and refused to intervene. Prominent Human rights defender Amina Masood Janjua said in her affidavit submitted before Supreme Court of the State. Pakistani military is determined to show extreme barbarism to send a shut up call for all those who were in the same line.
The Intelligentsia Silenced
It is really impossible to enslave any nation until their intellectual class is functional. Scholars and philosophers do not only nurture the brains but they safe guard the national heritage as well. The National intelligentsia is indeed the refined shape of National institutions. It takes ages to develop institutions at par. To mute the masses it becomes necessary for oppressors to eliminate all those who are capable to understand, explain and educate their nation about the tyrants.
Pakistani military realized the fact and started systematically targeting Baloch teachers, scholars and philosophers. Professor Ghulam Hussain Saba Dastyari, known as Qandeel-e-Baloch or Baloch Beacon, was not just a teacher at Balochistan University but he himself was a university for Baloch youth. This brave son of soil got target killed by ISI in day light on main Sariab Road Quetta and Baloch nation is deprived of a teacher of generations. But the state realized killing a philosopher never kills the philosophy. As they term Baloch a wild creature and want to eliminate and replace them with so called civic citizens of Punjab, so they strategically intense the abduction of educators. Specifically teachers, writers and poets were the main targets as they can quickly mange to educate the masses with comparatively lesser efforts.
Abdul Ghani- Teacher, Zar Gull Marri – Lady Teacher, Naseer Kamalan – Poet and Aqeel Pervaiz – Writer are a few names among the jewels in Baloch heritage broken to pieces by Pakistani military. Hundreds of Scholars are still facing brutal torture in illegal confinement.
Abduction of Students, Generations on Stake
Students are considered back bone of a nation, they are young and energetic, keen to learn and react timely. In South Asian societies where youth makes almost 35% of the total population, they are in the position to decide the National Fate. Energetic youth, with capabilities to confront the oppressor is damn dangerous for the tyrants. To spoil the youth means conformity of slavery for many upcoming generations. To eradicate the efficient resistive force, State authorities initiated a hostile campaign of abductions against Baloch students who were politically mature. BRSO and BSO-Azad are chosen targets of ruthless tyrants, while random pick, kill and dump policy for Baloch Students is enforced with all the brutalities.
Altaf Ahmad Bugti – Chairman of Baloch Republican Students Organization and Zakir Majeed Baloch -Senior Vice Chairman of Baloch Student Organization – Azad are still in illegal confinement of Pakistani forces. Thousands of Baloch students like Altaf Ahmad Bugti and Zakir Majeed Baloch are abducted in day light from universities, homes or the highways. They have been denied of fair trial and never produced in any court of law since their detention. Their whereabouts are still unknown and defiantly their families lost the hopes of justice.
Hundreds of students like Qambar Chaker of BSO-Azad and of Khuda Bakhsh of BRSO have been killed in custody after sever torture and their bodies were dumped in highlands. Human rights organs including Amnesty International and Human rights council of Pakistan raised their voice against inhuman behavior of Pakistani State but military pays no heed to any cry.
Nation deprived of professionals
Socio-economic strength of a society is directly dependent upon the human resource assets and professional capabilities of individuals. Qualitative, social and scientific contributions are important factors to build a nation in this competitive era. Technical and economic weaknesses of a nation only strengthen the chains of slavery.
Pakistani military determined to destroy the Baloch nation and will never let go of any chance of oppression. Baloch Doctors, Engineers, Journalists, lawyers and scientists are among the victims of abductions, kill and dump policy of the State. Samiullah Baloch - Engineer, Rahim Baksh Baloch – Doctor , Zaman Marri and Ali Sher Kurd – Advocates, senior lawyers of Balochistan High Court, Ilyas Nizar- Journalist , Siddique Eido- Human rights Defender, Ali Ahmed Marri- a professional builder, Moulana Shoaib Ahmed –A religious Cleric, Khuda-e-Rahim Bangulzai – A government official, Sardar Yousaf Langove – A responsible tribal chief, Muhammad Hayat Muhammad Hasani – A businessman , Abdul Sattar – A teacher, are the few names among the hundreds of Baloch professionals who are extra judicially killed after abduction.
It’s believed that journalists draw the first draft of history, in Balochistan 22 journalists are killed within four years and abduction of journalists is feared to be in hundreds. Balochistan is declared one of the most dangerous places for journalists in the world. Hamid Mir , a Senior Journalists of print and electronic media, said on record “for a journalist, It is easy to move in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza than in Balochistan” Number of Baloch professionals abducted by the State authorities is growing and misery of families getting multiplied by every day.
“Culture in all its dimensions, is a fundamental component of sustainable development. As a sector of activity, through tangible and intangible heritage, creative industries and various forms of artistic expressions, culture is a powerful contributor to economic development, social stability and environmental protection. As a repository of knowledge, meanings and values that permeate all aspects of our lives. Culture also defines the way human beings live and interact both at local and global scales”. UNESCO (The power of culture for development)
Such an important component of society could not be safe when the whole nation is facing a literal genocide. Pakistani military targeted the main pillars of culture and abducted dozens of Baloch Poets, Singers and folk icons. Naseer Kamalan – renowned poet was abducted by Pakistani military, his mutilated body was dumped later on. Reporting Naseer Kamalan’s death, Human rights watch hold “Military, Paramilitary Troops accountable for abuses”. Famous Balochi folk singer Ali Jan Saqib is among those who could not survive the torture during their abduction, and his bullet riddled body surfaced from Khuzdar some 300 kilometers away from his place of abduction. Still there are many of Baloch poets and singers in abduction without any trail.
Wait and Watch Policy of International Community
These are the glimpse from Pakistani occupied Balochistan, while in Iranian occupied Baloch land, Nation is facing even worst. The religious extremist regime of Iran does not hesitate to hang dozens of Baloch on main squares of Tehran. Fear of people may be guessed by the fact that no one dares to unhook the bodies off the cross for several days.
Baloch as a nation protested in all their capacity. First time in Baloch history, Baloch women came into streets staged rallies, and faced bullets of military during peaceful protest gatherings. Families of Baloch abducted nationals are sitting in protest camps for last three years in front of different press clubs. The irony is Pakistani Supreme Court, Lawyers, Politicians and Police, all on record confessed the forced disappearances are nothing but illegal abductions by military, but international community blindly trusts the myths of military. Human rights organizations are either silent or their impotent response is taken as a silent support to state back atrocities in Balochistan.
It seems that international community is waiting for a major human tragedy of 21st century, otherwise to prove the Baloch case, that Enforced Disappearance and extra-judicial killings are a tool of Systematic Genocide in Balochistan, enough evidence is provided. Though atrocities of abductions on Baloch soil are countless, both space and time do not allow bringing everything in a single draft.