Facts behind Balochistan’s Missing Persons Unmasked
By Sajjad Shaukat
Since the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been hearing the cases of the missing persons of Balochistan by taking notice of the deteriorating law and order situation, the province has perennial been in the limelight.
While hearing a petition, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on July 12 ordered the Inspector General of Frontier Corps (FC) Maj-Gen. Ubaidullah Khan Khattak to produce eight missing persons in court within 10 days and to produce Abdul Malik, a missing person on the same day.
The chief justice also asked about the 14 people who had gone missing in the Tutak operation in Khuzdar. The FC IG said, “There was a camp in Tutak. We conducted an operation there and two people were arrested, whose custody was given to police.” The IG also stated that if anybody belonging to the FC was found guilty, action would be taken against him.
While rejecting that the FC had detained any missing person, FC counsel Raja Irshad pointed out that if the representatives of Balochistan sitting in assemblies and Senate did not want FC then they should withdraw the force from the province.
Surprisingly, when Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was addressing the Balochistan High Court Bar on July 12, while speaking about the missing persons, and law and order situation of the province, six people including the leader of Awami National Party Malik Qasim were killed on the same day in a bomb blast at a public gathering. In this context, 10 people workers of the ANP who were observing strike were killed on July 14 when some unidentified gunmen opened fire on them.
But July 10, was the dark day for Balochistan when many people were killed, kidnapped, and bullet-riddled bodies found in different parts of the province.
It is or particular attention that on July 12, Quetta police found the dead bodies of seven coal miners who were kidnapped from the Degari area of Balochistan on July 6. Regarding this incident, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed responsibility for their abduction.
However, facts behind the deteriorating situation and the disappeared people in Balochistan are that most of the people were abducted by the militants, and then taken to Afghanistan for ransom. And a number of these persons have gone to Afghanistan and India. Some of them were murdered by foreign secret agencies in order to implicate FC and Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. Even Balach Marri was killed in Afghanistan.
In this respect, BLA and another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province get logistic support from American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad. Their militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people. Many persons in Balochistan have also been killed in bomb blasts, suicide attacks, ethnic and sectarian violence. On a number of occasions, BLA, Jundollah and other separatist groups claimed responsibility for these criminal activities.
These foreign-backed insurgent groups including other separatist elements are responsible for target killings of Punjabis, Pushtuns, people of Hazara community, and patriot Balochis.
Besides, disappeared individuals are also in the detention centres (Farrari Camps) which are being run by Baloch feudal lords (Sardars). Due to difficult heavy terrain, it is not easy for the FC to detect these people. With the assistance of US-led India and Israel, these Sardars are fighting for their so-called prestige, status and influence, and want to continue old system of feudalism in the province.
It is notable that on June 2, this year FC Inspector General Maj-Gen. Obaidullah Khan Khattak informed the media that millions of rupees were being spent to spread unrest in Balochistan, adding that over 30 militant training camps had been set up across the border in Afghanistan to launch terrorist and anti-state activities in Balochistan. He revealed that teachers, doctors and many civilians have fallen prey to targeted killings—over 100,000 people had migrated from the province due to worsening law and order and about 550 incidents of terrorism have taken place in the province so far this year of which several separatist groups have claimed responsibilities. He disclosed that foreign powers had their eyes on the province as part of a well-planned conspiracy, hatched for propaganda against the FC and intelligence agencies. He explained that during the last three months, FC posts were attacked in which several soldiers lost their lives. He also said, “FC has been fighting to give normal life to people and ensure security of development projects, main highways, dams, mines and oil and gas installations.”
It is worth-mentioning that the agents of CIA, RAW and Mosssad are well-penetrated in the foreign and Pakistani media, various NGOs and human rights organisations which are being used for vile propaganda against Pak Army and country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)—and now especially against FC in relation to human rights violations and the disappeared persons.
It is mentionable that on February 8, 2012, the hearing of the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Dana Rohrabacher discussed target killings and human rights violations in Balochistan, blaming Pakistan’s security agencies. He also favoured an independent Balochistan. It has exposed US support to the Baloch separatists who are responsible for missing persons.
It is our misfortune that without knowing the reality, while speaking in the tone of anti-Pakistan external elements, some of our own media anchors, so-called NGOs and human rights groups spread disinformation, creating sensations about the missing persons of Balochistan. Either, these internal entities want to get good coverage in the foreign media or are on the payroll of the foreign enemies like US and India.
In this regard, on June 2011, a two-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by the former Justice Javed Iqbal had remarked that NGOs exaggerated figures of missing persons, but failed to provide details about them. He elaborated that these NGOs were just spreading sensationalism. Observing the critical situation, Justice Javed Iqbal decided to visit Balochistan. Recently, he again repeated his views.
As Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is taking personal notice of the missing persons of Balochistan in connection with FC, these external-supported insurgent groups have chosen this particular movement to fulfill the foreign agenda of the US-led India and Israel by intensifying the acts of sabotage in the province.
Notably, the law and order situation in Balochistan is the responsibility of the provincial government, which must put its act together to take charge of the situation. So, the focus of attention on the FC, holding it responsible for the aggravated situation and for the missing persons, is not rational. FC’s actions are being conducted in support of the provincial government in defeating the terrorists’ agenda.
During his visit to Balochistan, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, while hinting towards US, India and Israel including militant groups said on July 13, that there were some external and internal forces involved in creating unrest in the province and they could only be defeated with combined efforts. He elaborated, “Law and order is a provincial subject and the federal government will fully assist the provincial government”, adding that the “Frontier Corps could not work against the wishes of the Balochistan chief minister.”
At this critical juncture when some foreign secret agencies are destabilising Pakistan through various subversive acts, the continuous judicial focus on the FC for being responsible for the law and order situation in Balochistan by excluding the provincial government amounts to discourage the security agencies and the FC for bringing peace to the troubled province. FC is doing a wonderful job and its work need to be appreciated rather than putting it in the spot for unproven charges about the missing persons.
The acceleration of the ongoing wave of violence and claim of responsibility by the foreign-backed insurgents have clearly unmasked the facts behind the missing persons of Balochistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations