PAKISTAN: Balochistan, a place of enforced disappearances, extra judicial killings and mass graves

This year in many parts of Baluchistan military operations were conducted, and in some areas, it is still going on. Many deputations came from the operation hit areas who reported that many people were abducted forcefully by paramilitary troops. Security forces have dumped many mutilated bodies of numerous missing Balochs. In District Noshki alone during an operation, four mutilated bodies were found. According to the claim of security forces, they were insurgents killed in the combat none except one body was recognize. The body purportedly belonged to a man who was arrested along with his brother six months ago. In areas such as Johan, Sheshar, and Kabo during military operations eight mutilated bodies were thrown by military, two out of these eight corpses were recognized the families of the deceased reported to Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) that they were taken away from their homes the remaining six mutilated corpses were burnt beyond recognition by acid. It is believed that these belong to other missing Baloch. The bodies were later buried by the residents of Johan.

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons has been receiving the news of dumping of the bodies in many areas by the security personal. A similar incident was witnessed by the local people in District Noshki. During the night time, security forces were dumping a body in a local graveyard. In the morning, the families of missing Baloch dug up the grave, but the body was already decomposed.

Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) has been visiting in many areas of Baluchistan and talked to the families of the missing Baloch. They were told that when they went to register First Information Report (FIR), the Station House Officer (SHO) did not register the FIR. In fact, the families were threatened not to approach the court or protest otherwise they would torture their dear ones and their families also may meet the same fate. Moreover, they told that some influential people came to them and asked them to be quiet so that their dear ones will be released in addition to it government institutions have been intimidating the officials of VBMP not to raise the issue of Baloch missing person. They are also being scrutinized by the officials of security forces, therefore, working openly is becoming increasingly difficult for the VBMP. Furthermore, the families of missing person’s have complained that eye witnesses who had recorded their statements at various police stations under the CRPC section 161 are now refusing to accept their previous statements, for example, they are denying their statements given before judicial commission. It happens because states institutions are harassing them in different manners and giving them threats; due to fear the eye witnesses retract their statements.

A deputation of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons also met the Chief Minister, during this meeting the representatives of the VBMP reminded the CM of his promise that if his party came into power, he would solve the issue of missing persons and the dumping of mutilated bodies on priority biases. Yet, in his government, the state intuitions are committing the violation of human rights and the breach of law and constitution with complete impunity. In reply CM confessed that his government has failed in stopping the illegal acts of state institutions. Additionally federal government has also failed to take the issue of enforced disappearances seriously.

Voice for Baloch Missing Persons submitted an application regarding the mutilated bodies that each of the mutilated bodies which are being dumped of those who were forcibly abducted Baloch. Many dumped bodies are found to be in such a miserable condition that they can’t be identified, and from the government side, there have been no proper arrangements for the identification of the decomposed dumped bodies. Neither DNA tests are conducted these dead bodies, nor any obituaries regarding the discovery of mutilated bodies are published in newspapers, the morgues in government hospitals are not proactive for the preservation of the decomposed bodies. In civil hospital Quetta, there are only fourteen freezers, which are insufficient. In other parts of Baluchistan, there is no morgue equipped with proper facilities. VBMP pleaded in its application to the Supreme Court that it is a humanitarian issue because they could be someone’s father, brother or husband. So the state, at least, has to provide a proper mechanism to identify the mutilated bodies so, that their families can identify their dear ones and give them a proper burial.

On the plea of VBMP, the Supreme Court has passed a verdict and instructed all the provincial governments to collect the bio data of the mutilated bodies for their identification. DNA tests, finger prints, publication of obituary in print media and electronic media should be carried out, furthermore, the court ordered to make all the morgues functional on modern lines to keep the dead bodies preserved till the identification and their families should be informed by the respective police stations regularly.

Yet, to date, the order of the Supreme Court are not implemented by the authorities. Some families of missing persons reported to the VBMP that bodies found in Noshki were suspected to be the bodies of their dear loved ones, so a delegation of VBMP met CM Baluchistan and home secretary and gave them application regarding the mutilated bodies found from Noshki, and requested that DNA tests must be conducted. For the past last three months, no DNA test regarding the mutilated bodies has been conducted by concerned authorities.

In Supreme Court and in High Court as well the case of missing persons is not progressing. In 2012, the Voice for Blaoch Missing Persons had submitted a case of missing persons in Supreme Court. At initial stage court took same practical steps, but after that, there was no hearing of the case. Therefore, the VMBP made an application for urgent proceedings of the cases. In Supreme Court after seven months, six hearings were held on the plea of VMBP. On 15th March 2015, during the hearing a bench of Supreme Court comprising of two judges assured the chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons that chief justice of Supreme Court has confirmed that in the month of March 2015 Supreme Court’s larger bench will hear the cases of the missing persons. But until now there have been no hearings of any of the cases.

The VBMP appealed to the government, judicial commission and Supreme Court regarding the discovery of mass graves found in Tutak area of Khuzdar. VBMP also emphasized on the issuance of NOC to the human rights activist. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) made an application to the home secretary for the issuance of NOC so that they should be allowed to examine the mass graves. The Supreme Court ordered Baluchistan Home Secretary to issue NOC for HRCP and also provide security. Despite the order, the NOC was not issued to HRCP.

Moreover, the representatives of human rights from many countries and international journalists also met the representatives of the VBMP and complained that NOC is not issued to them. They are not permitted to visit the mass graves discovered in Balochistan, and they were stopped from hearing the proceedings of missing person’s cases.
All these concerns were also expressed by the VBMP to the representatives of national and international human rights organizations and also pleaded these organizations that they should urge the government of Pakistan to issue NOC for the observation of mass graves and record the ongoing human rights abuse in the region.

We appeal to the United Nations, international community and human rights organizations to visit the affected areas in Baluchistan where security forces have violated the human rights; we urge the international community to play its role in stopping the ongoing atrocities and human rights abuse in Baluchistan.
The AHRC is not responsible for the views shared in this article, which does not necessarily reflect its own.

About the Author:

Mr. Naserullah Baloch is the chairperson of Voice of Baloch Missing Persons.

 

The Afghan Tribune | Naserullah Baloch| Published: February 24, 2016, 12:35 PM

 

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