BSO-Azad writes to WGEID: Enforced disappearances in Balochistan continue unabated
Date 2012-09-10 | Topic: Quetta
|BSO-Azad requested The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to directly speak to the People of Balochistan and the families of Baloch Missing Persons. According to the central representative of the organization a letter was sent to the OHCHR-UNOG office in Geneva, Switzerland through email, fax and post.|
The Baloch Student Organisation – Azad thanked the Working Group for Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances for undertaking a country mission and review of enforced disappearances in Balochistan.
The representative said that, “We have taken up the issue of Baloch missing persons at various national and international forums, which includes protests, hunger strikes, camps, press conferences, writing in newspapers and international seminars. We wish to bring to the notice of Working Group certain issues, which may contribute to their mission to Pakistan and to Balochistan.”
Following is the text of the BSO-A letter to WGEID:
“Sir, as you already know enforced disappearances in Balochistan, has become a widespread and systematic practice and continues to gain intensity without any respite. The last case of abduction was that of Samad Bilal, Razaq Paliri, Jalil Murad and Ramzan yaqoob on 17th August. Samad Bilal was killed and dumped on 26th August whereas Ramzan Yaqoob was killed and dumped on 8th September. According to Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) the most reliable source as it comprises the relatives of missing persons; as many as 14000 Baloch activists have been missing since 2001. Amongst these more than 500 have been extra judicially killed without trial and their bullet riddled bodies dumped on roadsides. The missing persons whose bodies have been found are political activists, journalists, artists and writers including Jalil Reki, Sangat Sana, Mehboob Wadhela, Ghaffar Langove, Qamber Chakar (Central Leader BSO-A), Shafi Baloch (Central Leader BSO-A), Qayyum Baloch (Central Leader BSO-A). Senior BSO-A leader Zakir Majeed and Dr. Deen Mohammad a leader of Balochistan National Movement are still missing.
“Till now there has been no progress in recovery of missing persons. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken up this issue only in 2011; however despite a series of regular sessions with emphasis on media coverage there has been no relief. Not even a single person has been produced before the court; the court has not gone beyond mere rhetoric and false warnings to the perpetrators of the crime. Despite that the court gave a timeline to IG FC Balochistan for recovery of missing persons; the law enforcement agencies have neither produced any missing persons before the court nor given any reason for their abduction instead there has been, complete denial. Nothing has been done to prevent the involvement of army and FC and to trace the secret detention centers. It seems the court is also working in liaison with the Pakistani Intelligence agencies and the recent whole drama was a face saving tactic.
“The Pakistani federal interior ministry has always downplayed the issue by giving incorrect figures. Recently the number of missing persons in Balochistan was stated to be at 32 only by the federal minister for interior which itself shows the policy of denial. On the contrary there are government ministers federal and provincial and the judiciary on record directly implicating the law enforcing agencies i.e. the Army and FC and the spy agency ISI. It is also common knowledge in Balochistan that state is also supporting some non state actors who are involved in abducting Baloch activists and killing them.
“The Pakistani government has not taken appropriate measures to curtail this practice except for forming committees to deceive the International Community. Three commissions and committees have been formed since 2011 by the Pakistani federal government to probe into missing persons in Balochistan but their performance has remained zilch. Even the Parliamentary Committee for National Security (PCNS) has been holding meetings on missing persons. A commission set up by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in July 2012 to advice on legislation on enforced disappearances did not meet on the scheduled day due to lack of quorum. A Commission formed on Balochistan by the Prime Minister did not visit any of the victims’ families. This non-seriousness of state actors demonstrates a very obvious inclination to protect the law enforcement agencies. These committees do not meet the required high standards as its members are mostly from the ruling parties of Pakistan instead of independent and non-controversial persons with high moral character.
“On the other hand the national and international human rights organizations stay away and only produce an annual report with no follow up. There is no monitoring mechanism in place and no monitoring of the situation has been done by any one. Moreover no legal assistance is being provided to the families of the missing persons. It is important to note the VBMP had rejected the figures on missing persons provided by HRCP in 2011 and no other organization has any information. Amidst this situation every week more and more dead bodies of missing persons are reported.
“This situation has left us with no hope at all whilst there are hundreds of Baloch youth and activists who are at risk of abduction by the authorities. Therefore we request that the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances speaks to the people of Balochistan and more importantly to the families of missing persons. It is also requested that UN constitutes a monitoring body on enforced disappearances in Balochistan that also ensures regular reporting on the issue. Lastly we request that a follow up mechanism; post this country mission is put in place, so that we don’t leave hope in UN also.”