Monday, 25 February 2013

You Cannot Keep The Spring From Coming — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Thousands of Baloch have gone missing since 1974 and continue to go missing while more than 700 of them have had their tortured bodies dumped all over Balochistan

Selective and convenient paranoia
is ingrained into the psyche of the ‘establishment’; consequently, we keep getting ridiculous explanations and excuses for all the anguish and agony in Balochistan. The establishment’s spokespersons defend it with truisms attractive enough to befool people. They want people to overlook the fact that Balochistan’s present situation is the product of the atrocities and exploitation of the last 64 years and believe that all that this is a creation of international conspiracies by powers with ulterior motives.

A few days back Senator Raza Rabbani in the Senate proceedings regarding the carnage against the Hazaras linked the recent wave of terrorism in Balochistan with the handover of the Gwadar Port to China and said, “We all know how important Gwadar is, especially when it comes to international politics.” Presumably, he wants people to believe that the United States and India foment trouble there because of rivalry with China. The British High Commissioner Adam Thomson’s statement last month that; “Pakistan needs radical change. Pakistan’s governments -- federal and provincial -- are not delivering enough to the people,” also gravely upset him. He questioned, “Who is he to make such a statement?” Gentleman, he makes this statement because they fund your very existence.

Mind you, this stance on Balochistan is not something new for the Senator. He had taken offence at the visit of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) last September. Under his chair, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) decided that in the future no United Nations group would be allowed to visit Pakistan to discuss “sensitive issues”. He had strongly criticised the UN group for its desire to meet with military officials and was happy that the UN team was not entertained by the military leadership. PCNS grilled the foreign and interior ministries for their failure to satisfy it on the WGEID’s visit. Ironically, the PCNS’s 15 recommendations on missing persons are still in limbo. They themselves do precious little for the missing persons but take offence at international bodies’ justified concern regarding the missing. Moreover, when states conduct ‘dirty wars’ against the people, all have the right to intervene. Interestingly, the Oman Tribune had printed a news item on September 27, 2012 that had sources hinting that Senator Raza Rabbani is likely to be the choice for the caretaker prime minister. To be the caretaker prime minister you have to have the right sound bytes.

I digress. Let us get back to Gwadar and international conspiracies. Gwadar was still on lease to Oman in March 1948 when Pakistan under Jinnah decided to usurp the Baloch freedom by its forced annexation in violation of all agreements. There was no conspiracy then except the Pakistani state’s conspiracy to grab Balochistan and deprive the Baloch of their rights and that conspiracy still flourishes. The real and underlying conspiracy is to obfuscate the real issue of state-sponsored terrorism against the Baloch since 1948 and against the Hazaras since 1999. The official narrative implies that everything that happens in Balochistan is due to the machinations of ‘foreign hands’. What they conveniently forget is that the Baloch have a history of resisting those who have tried to subjugate them. The allegations about foreign hands are to deflect criticism from their ‘strategic assets’ who, unable to do anything against the US in Afghanistan and the Indians in Kashmir, have unleashed their fury upon unarmed and innocent people here.

The carnage against the Hazaras, including the two this year, have been owned up to by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). Raza Rabbani’s statement would imply that they are working for the enemies of China; this is as preposterous as it can get. The real intent of these allegations is to malign the Baloch nationalists so that the state and media can provide justifications to the people for the atrocities that are committed against the Baloch by the army and the Frontier Corps (FC). After Governor’s rule was imposed in January, operations against the Baloch intensified while a blind eye was turned towards the LeJ, which resulted in the carnage on February 16.

The media controls the discourse and ensures that the Baloch are painted in the worst colours in contrast to the treatment that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or other fundamentalists get. The TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan is interviewed but the Baloch leaders are barred. The Supreme Court takes notice of Baloch views in the media as threatening the integrity of the state but the TTP is kosher. Little wonder Malcolm X said, “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Here the oppressed end up being hated and the oppressors are admired.

People often ask the agonising question that the missing Dr Deen Mohammad Baloch’s daughter, Saman Baloch, asked of Mohammad Hanif: “If they want to hang my father, they should bring him to court, put him on trial and hang him in front of us. We’ll at least have the satisfaction of knowing that he is no more. But if they keep him alive for three years, four years; if they torture him every day and kill him and dump his body, what is the point of that?” The answer is they do this to intimidate physically and psychologically those who seek their rights and defy the might of the state.

It is noteworthy that thousands of Baloch have gone missing since 1974 and continue to go missing while more than 700 of them have had their tortured bodies dumped all over Balochistan. However, this brutality has not succeeded in intimidating the Baloch who continue to resist repression and exploitation because they realise that giving up their rights, land and resources would make their life meaningless and pointless. Therefore, they resist and struggle. For them the ultimate price is not their life but their land, history and culture. They know without these they would lose their moorings and bearings and would find themselves adrift without an identity and a reason to live; the struggle preserves and strengthens their identity. Their message to the state is that they will persevere and prevail. For them the axiomatic and poignant Pablo Neruda quotation: “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep the spring from coming,” has become the inspirational dictum. This is what they have come to believe and they will struggle whatever may be said or done.

The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at

Ten more Baloch abducted by the Pakistani forces from different parts of Balochistan.

Occupied Balochistan: Pakistani military and its secret agencies have abducted 10 more Baloch from Panjgur and Gwadar district. According to reports Pakistani forces, in a pre-dawn raid in Panjgur, abducted Master Abdul Rehman along with four other friends and took them away to unknown location.

According to locals of the area Pakistani forces surrounded Gharibabad Chitkan and then entered in houses. Forces broke valuables, beat the locals and abducted five men, which were identified as Master Abdul Rehman, Shakir Baloch, Karim Jan, Ghulam Jan and Aman Jan.

Meanwhile the Spokesman of Baloch Human Rights Organization (BHRO) said that Master Abdul Rehman is a teacher in a government school in Chitkan, while Karim Jan is working with Pakistan television (PTV). Spokesman said, ''The forces maltreated women and children, broke into the houses of residents and fired shots to cause fear in the area.''

The Spokesman further said, Karim Jan, Ghulam jan and Shakir belong to the same family. Forces have already abducted four other members of Ghulam Jan's family from Karachi in the end of January 2013.

''Ghulam Jan's son Ijaz Baloch was abducted on 24 January from Dalmia Karachi and 3 members of their family namely Ifthikhar Baloch, Zahid Baloch and Waseem Baloch were abducted from Raess Goth Karachi on 28 January. All the abducted are still missing without any trace.''

Separately, the Pakistani secret agencies personnel have abducted Parvez s/o Khan Mohammad and Suleman Baloch on gunpoint from a Gwadar bound passenger bus. Both persons are residents of Gwadar town.

Famous Balochi language poet Dad Kareem aka DK Baloch along with Shafi Baloch and Sagheer Baloch abducted from coastal town of Jiwani in district Gwadar. According to reports, on 22nd February about 11pm, Pakistani forces have abducted the Dad Kareem, Shafi Baloch and Sagheer Baloch from Dirhana area of Jiwani during their picnic party. They all are residents of Jiwani town of Balochistan.


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Baloch Students Organisation (Azad) January 2013 Human Rights Report

1st January incidents

[Sui, Dera Bugti]: Pakistani military conducted a military operation in Sui area of Dera Bugti, four persons were abducted by the forces. The abductees were were identified as Walo s/o Gulam Bugti, Hasso s/o Khairo Bugti, Polat s/o Chakar Khan Bugti and Ahmad s/o Rehman Bugti.

[Pirkooh, Dera Bugti]: Laimon Khan Baloch critically injured in a landmine blast in pirkoh area of Dera Bugti.

[Chitkan, Pajgour]: Ejaz Ali Baloch, a prominent trader, was abducted by unidentified gunmen in Chitkan area of Panjgour.

2nd January incidents

[Mach]: Maqsood Baloch, a journalist, survived an attack carried out by unidentified gunmen while he was capturing pictures of murdered persons in the hospital. Balochistan Union Of Journalists strongly condemned the attack.

4th January incidents

[Pasni]: Bolan Karim Baloch, a teenage student and resident of Pasni, was abducted by Pakistani military from Pasni.

 5th January incidents

[Merani Dem]: Bullet riddled dead body of Meer Khan Baloch was found in Merani Dem area of Kech. 

[Zahidan]: Mohsin Ismail zahi Baloch, a political prisoner was tortured to death in the central jail of Zahidan. 

7th January incidents

[Quetta]: three Baloch youths were abducted by Pakistani military from Arbab karam Khan road area of
Quetta, they were identified as Sana ullah Langove, Naseer Langove and Jaleel Langove.

[Bessima]: Imam Baskh Baloch, uncle of martyr Hamid Baloch (who was previously abducted and killed extra judicially under custody) was murdered by Pakistani death squads in Besima.

8th January incidents

 [Mand]: Pakistani military fired 14 rockets on civilian population in Mand area of Kech that caused heavy damages.

 9th January incidents

 [Mashkay] 21 vehicles of Frontier Corps have raided Mashkay and abducted Ashraf Baloch, his son Shareef Baloch, and Khuda Baksh Baloch. Zahoor S/O Alahi Bux and Zakir S/O Abdul Hakeem are residents of Nokjo whereas Saaloo S/O Jumma Khan and Khaliq Dad S/O Saydo are residents of Tolago.
The Pakistani forces also destroyed forests in Mashkay and surrounding areas by setting them on fire. 

[Mand]: Once again, Pakistani military fired 4 rockets on civilian population in Mand area of Kech.

 [Quetta]: Abdul Aziz Pirkani Baloch was killed by unidentified gunmen in Quetta.

 11th January incidents

 [Mand]: Pakistani military conducted a military operation in Kooh Posht area of Mand, five persons were abducted by the forces during the operation. The abductees were identified as Abdul Sattar Baloch, Faiz Mohammad Baloch, Naseer Ahmad Baloch, Akhtar Gourham Baloch and Dad Rehman Baloch.

 [Chalagi]: Tanveer Ahmad Baloch, cousin of prominent Balochi language writer Obaid Shad was abducted by Iranian forces from chalagi area of Zamouran, later he was extra judicially killed under custody and his dead body was handed to his relative after 11 days.

 [Dera Bugti]: Three bullet riddled dead bodies were found in Dera Bugti. Two of the deceased were identified as Peer Dad Marri and his son while the third person couldn’t be identified.

 12th January incidents

 [AWARAN]: Pakistani forces along with their agents and stooges have attacked residents in Awaran Bazar, Teertaj and Bedhi. The forces looted and then set ablaze many shops whereas they also maltreated and abducted many Baloch. According to details the Pakistani forces stormed the main Awaran Bazar and abducted Zareef Baloch, Hameed Baloch, Asadullah Baloch, Raheem Bakhsh Baloch, Mumtaz Baloch and many others. The forces then terrorized the whole area by firing in the air for long. They also looted many shops including a Medical store and then burnt them up.

 15th January incidents

 [Mashkay]: Ashraf s/o Qasoum Baloch, a resident of Nokjo, was abducted by Pakistani military from Laki area of Mashkay .

 16th January incidents

 [Mand]: Pakistani military conducted a military operation in Lebnan area of Mand, four persons were abducted who were identified as, Fida Baloch, Mossa Baloch, Master Hamid Baloch and Ahad Baloch. 

[Mashkay, Awaran] 13 Baloch youths were abducted by Pakistani military from different areas of Mashkay.

18th January incidents

 [Mastung]: Pakistani forces stormed a house in Mastung city and killed two Baloch youth Rasheed Baloch and Shah Jahan Baloch. Women and children were also injured in the attack. The forces also abducted Nisar Baloch, brother of Rasheed Baloch.

 [Kharan]: Akram Baloch along with his 4 years old child was killed by unidentified gunmen in Kharan.

 19th January incidents

 [Peer koh, Dera Bugti]: A convoy of a large number of armed vehicles carrying combat troops of Pakistani forces laid a siege to different areas in Pirkoh, Dera Bugti. Many villages including Bakir kohr, Sardaw, Hann, Haidaro, Kando and others were heavily bombarded dozens of houses (mostly mud and wood huts) of poor Baloch villagers were destroyed and burnt to ashes. Bakhtiyar Bugti was killed during the operation while at least thirteen people including three women were abducted by the forces during the offensive. The abducted men were identified as Bahiyan Bugti, Allah Bux Bugti, Shaho Bugti, Razzu Bugti, Leemo Bugti, Mazar Khan Bugti, Noor din Bugti, Saifal Bugti, Nadgo Bugti and one unknown men while the identity of abducted women could not be ascertained.

[Patfidar, Dera Bugti]: One person died and 3 others injured in a landmine blast in Patfidar area of Dera Bugti .

[Killi Ismail]: A teenage student namely Rashid Langove S/o Mansoor Ahmad Langove Baloch was abducted by Pakistani military from Killi Ismail area of Quetta.

[New Kahan]: Pakistani military conducted a military operation in New Kahan area of Quetta and abducted several people. Gull Jan Marri, 5 years old child, was critically injured due to indiscriminate firing by the forces.

[Kharan]: Kabeer Baloch was abducted while he was going to Noshki from Kharan.

20th January incidents

[Bessima]: Pakistani military surrounded the residence of Qasum Baloch in Besima and the indiscriminately bombarded it. Due to indiscriminate bombardment, Qasum Baloch along with a woman named Banok Ruzhina Baloch were killed.

[Zahidan]: Iranian authorities executed three Baloch political prisoner in the central jail of Zahidan, the victims were named as Ali Kamali Baloch, Dawoud Qambarzahi Baloch and Mahmoud Shahraki Baloch.

21st January incidents

[Peer koh]: Pakistani military bombarded Pirkooh town in Dera bugti, due to indiscriminate bombardment, Buzzo Bugti Baloch along with his little daughter was killed while several others were injured.

[Dera Bugti] The bullet riddled dead bodies of Razzo Bugti Baloch and Bahian Bugti Baloch were found in Dera Bugti, both were abducted on 19 January 2013 from Dera Bugti during the search operation.

22nd January incidents Sanaullah langove, Naseer Langove & Jalil Langove were abducted by Pakistani occupying forces from Shall, Quetta on 2013/1/22.

23rd January incidents

[Peer koh]: Four Baloch including a woman and a child were killed in a landmine blast in Dera Bugti .

25th January incidents

[Kros Thang - Gawadar]

16 years old resident of ''Kros Thang'' area of Gwadar district, Nasrat son of Habib Omer, has been critically injured by Iranian border forces. He was captured and kept in detention, in injured condition, without medical aid for hours.

26th January incidents

[Karachi]: The bullet riddled dead body of Baloch activist Adnan Baloch s/o Haji Akram was found in Malir area of Karachi, he was abducted by Pakistani military from Kahnak area of Mand on 30th June 2012.

[Sui, Dera Bugti]: two persons were killed while another was injured in a landmine blast in Sui area of Dera Bugti.

27th January incidents

[Dasht, Kech]: Mola Baksh Baloch was abducted by Pakistani military from Zarrinboug area of Dasht.

29th January incidents

 [Quetta] Pakistani military raided a house in Killi Bangulzai area of Shal (Quetta) and abducted Imran Bangulzai.

30th January incidents

[Pir koh - Dera Bugti] Four bullet-riddled dead bodies were found from Pirkoh area of Dera Bugti in Balochistan. The victims were identified as Sabz Ali Bugti, Mazar Khan Bugti, Noordin Bugti, Naik Mohammad Bugti. They all belong to same family and were abducted along with 13 others including three women from Pirkoh area of Dera Bugti 15 days ago during a military offensive.

[Kerman]: Five Balouch prisoners Nazar Shahbakhsh, Ne'matollah Shahbakhsh, Abdollah Shahbakhsh, Abdorrahman SHahbakhsh and Saleh Noti Zehi were executed in Kerman. They had been arrested five years ago. There is no information about their charges.

31st January incidents

[Turbat]: Master Sher Mohammad Resident of Buledah was abducted by Pakistani Agencies from Turbat. 

[Khuzdar - Awaran]: Two bullet riddled bodies found from Khuzdar while one from Awaran district of Balochistan. [Karachi]: Two bullet riddled bodies of abducted Baloch found from Surjani town area of Karachi. They were identified as Haroon Baloch and Razak Baloch. Both the victims were abducted by the Pakistani forces two months ago from Pishukan area of district Gwadar.

[Pasni]: Pakistani forces abducted Sajid Baloch & Younus Yousuf from Pasni.


Karachi: Five Baloch student forcefully disappeared, and another bullet riddled body found.

Karachi: Pakistani military have started new trend of abducting and throwing brutally tortured bullet riddlded bodies of Baloch youths in different parts of Karachi. According to Baloch national media reports another bullet riddled body of Baloch youth found from Malir area of Karachi. The victim identified as Nabi Baksh s/o Ababagar, a resident of coastal town of Pishukan in district Gwadar, Balochistan. Nabi Baksh was abducted about eight months ago from Pishukan by the Pakistani secret agencies. It is pertinent to mention here that within short span of month seven bullet riddled bodies of abducted Baloch youths being found dumped in different parts of Karachi. All the victims were abducted from different parts of Balochistan by Pakistani forces.

 BBC Urdu reported the abduction of five Baloch student from different areas of Karachi by the Pakistani secret agencies. Four Baloch student namely Babu Iftikhar Baloch s/o Mansoor Ahmed Baloch, Zahid Pazeer s/o Haji Pazeer Baloch and Waseem Fazal Baloch s/o Fazal Kareem Baloch were abducted by Pakistani secret agencies from Raees Goth area of Karachi on 28th January, while Ejaz Ghulam Baloch s/o Ghulam Jan Baloch was abducted on 24th January from Dalmia area of Karachi. They all belong to Panjgur town of Balochistan.

 Few days earlier another Baloch youth namely Manzoor Qalandarani also abducted from Karachi by secret agencies. Manzoor is student of Iqra University in Karachi.

 Baloch Human Rights Ogranisation's (BHRO) activists protested outside Karachi press club against the abductions of Baloch student by Pakistani secret agencies. Protesters have also urged to United Nation to play their role in ending the series of abductions, custodial killings and military operations in Balochistan.


Pakistan doesn't understand the language of diplomacy, UN should intervene to stop disappearances: VBMP

Karachi: Vice chairman of VBMP said in a press release that the recommendations of UN working group are not being implemented for the release of Baloch disappeared.

He said, “UN working group in a meeting with the families of Baloch disappeared said that we have presented recommendations to Pakistani officials regarding disappearances in Balochistan.” Mama Qadeer said that Pakistan has failed to implement the recommendations of UN working group.

The recommendations, which UN working group presented to Pakistani officials for the implementation regarding disappearances in Balochistan, are as follow:

1. As a preventive measure against enforced disappearance, any person deprived of liberty shall be held in an officially recognized place of detention and be brought promptly before a judicial authority.
2. The Commission of Inquiry should be reinforced. Its membership should be extended, so as to allow parallel hearings. Its staff and resources should be strengthened and the Commission should be given its own premises.
3. The courts and the Commission of Inquiry should use all powers they have to ensure compliance with their orders, including the request of sworn affidavits and writs of contempt of courts.
4. As a rule, the families should be heard in confidential meetings before the Commission of Inquiry, without the presence of representatives of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
5. A new and autonomous crime of enforced disappearances should be included in the Criminal Code, following the definition given in the 2006 Convention or the protection of all persons against enforced disappearances, and with all the legal consequences flowing from this qualification.
6. Investigation against and punishment of perpetrators should be in accordance with the law, and with all the guarantees of a fair trial. Perpetrators should be punished with appropriate penalties, with the clear exclusion of the death penalty.
7. Investigations should be initiated whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that an enforced disappearance has been committed, even if there has been no formal complaint.
8. Measures should be taken to ensure that, in case of human rights violations, suspected perpetrators, including army personnel, are suspended from any official duties during the investigation and are tried only by competent ordinary courts, and not by other special tribunal, in particular military courts.
9. Clear rules and dedicated institutions should be created in order to ensure the oversight and the accountability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
10. Appropriate training should be given to members of law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the field of human rights, with particular focus on enforced disappearances.
11. A comprehensive program for the protection of victims and witnesses should be set up, with a special attention to women as relatives of disappeared persons.
12. The State has to guarantee the safety of those who have met with the WGEID during this visit and to protect them against any form of reprisals, threats or intimidation.
13. A system of declaration of absence as a result of enforced disappearance should be issued in order to address the legal uncertainties created by the absence of the disappeared person.
14. Financial aid should be provided to the relatives of the disappeared persons, in particular women and children, in order to help to cope with the difficulties generated by the absence of the disappeared person. 15. A program of integral reparation should be set up for all victims of enforced disappearances, including not only compensation but also full rehabilitation, satisfaction, including restoration of dignity and reputation, and guarantees of non-repetition.
16. Ratify the Convention for the protection of all persons against enforced disappearances, and recognize the competence of the Committee to consider individual and inter-state complaints under article 31 and 32. 17. If requested by the Government of Pakistan, the United Nations and other international organizations should stand ready to provide technical assistance and consultative services, so as to implement the Working Group’s recommendations.

To conclude, a mother of a disappeared person has asked us to convey a message to all persons in charge of public affairs in Pakistan.

She asked: “If your child disappeared, what would you do?”

Vice chairman of VBMP said, “We would like to inform UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) Pakistan has not implemented the above recommendations. In fact the state security agencies and secret services have intensified their atrocities in Balochistan since the UN working group visited Balochistan.”

He said that after the WGEID’s visit 250 Baloch have been disappeared and 70 previously enforced-disappeared Baloch have been killed under-custody. Their bullet-ridden bodies have been dumped in different areas of Balochistan and Karachi. He said Pakistan doesn’t understand the language of diplomacy or recommendations. “If UN wants Pakistan to implement their recommendations they have to be strict and resolute and physically intervene to stop enforced-disappearances and Baloch genocide by Pakistan,” said Qadeer Baloch.

Baloch Missing Persons: A Sister’s Vigil —Mohammed Hanif

Karachi: Farzana Majeed has done her masters in biochemistry from Balochistan University, and now is enrolled in the MPhil programme. If she wasn’t a Baloch she’d be either wearing a white coat and working in a lab or, like many young people her age, struggling to get a job. Or at least turning up for her M Phil classes.

Instead, she has spent the last four years of her life sitting in protest camps, turning up for court hearings, speaking at political rallies.

All this while she has been waiting for some news about her brother Zakir Majeed. She has been hoping that she wouldn’t get the kind of news that some of her fellow protestors have received while sitting in the camp with her.

She spends her days reading and sharing the newspaper with other protesters, watching the passersby go by without even stopping to look at this young girl in a burqa, camped out on the pavement circled by rows and rows of pictures of the missing and the martyred.

She is absolutely scared of getting that kind of news. Zakir Majeed was a student of Masters in English and the vice president of Baloch Students Organisation (Azad), a nationalist students’ organisation with the avowed aim of raising awareness about Baloch rights on the campuses. BSO Azad has lost a number of its senior leaders, but it still persists with its struggle for the rights of the Baloch people.

Zakir was returning from Mastung with a couple of friends when they were chased and stopped by a number of vehicles; one Vigo with tinted glasses, two Hiluxes, one was red. The details of the raid were told to Farzana by Zakir’s friends who were picked up with him but were allowed to go 15 minutes later.

“His friends called between zohar and asar,” says Farzana. “I didn’t want to believe them. I turned on the TV. There was a ticker on only one channel about Zakir’s abduction. The first thing that occurred to me was that I must not tell my mother. She was not keeping well and I didn’t want to stress her. I called up his other friends. They also confirmed it. I still didn’t tell my mother.”

Farzana contacted the representative of the Human Rights Commission in Khuzdar. Her younger brother went to Mastung along with Zakir’s friends who were witnesses to his kidnapping and lodged an FIR. Farzana kept making flimsy excuses to her mother about why Zakir hadn’t returned home. “Then a couple of days later she had to go out of the house to pay her condolences to a family friend. I realised that people will tell her. She’ll find out because everybody around us knew so I decided to tell her. I said casually that the police had taken Zakir.” Farzana’s mother broke down and started to pray.

“And she is still at it, she is still praying,” says Farzana, in an irritated tone, like someone who has serious doubts about whether anybody is listening to their prayers, that her mother’s prayers are as futile as her own protests, as useless as the court hearings she has been attending for the past four years.

Zakir had been arrested before for his political activities. Charges were always the same; organising a strike, a protest, at worst vandalism, etc. “Every time his case came up, the session judge freed him. There was no case against him. He was a political worker not a criminal.”

Two weeks after Zakir was kidnapped, Farzana filed a writ petition in the Balochistan High Court. Then she held a press conference in the Press Club in Khuzdar, staged a protest outside the Quetta Press Club and then in May 2010 set up a protest camp in Karachi, along with the families of other missing person. This was her first extended stay in Karachi. She stayed in various places while protesting, sometimes in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, sometimes in Lyari. She had been to Karachi as a teenager for sightseeing but this time around she herself was the centre of attention. “People occasionally dropped by to express their solidarity. The international media came. TV cameras came. But they didn’t really do much. Nothing changed. I even spent my Eid days in the protest camp. Nothing changed.”

Then suddenly disfigured bodies of the missing persons started to appear with greater frequency. Farzana along with Abdul Qadeer Baloch, a leader of the Voice for Missing Baloch Persons, who she refers to as Mama Qadeer, went and set up a protest camp in Islamabad in the hope of putting pressure on the authorities, to get the media to talk about the disappearances. Like every other family of the missing persons, Farazana went and met Justice Javaid Iqbal. Justice Javaid Iqbal told her what he has told every other Baloch family: Shut down the protest camp, go home and your family members will be with you within a week.

In his capacity as a former senior Supreme Court judge, and the man responsible for investigating the cases of the missing people, Javaid Iqbal has played a curious role in perpetuating this nightmare. He has made so many false promises to so many families that many see him as part of the problem.

They shifted the protest camp to Quetta and Farzana went home to Khuzdar to spend some time with her family. She started receiving anonymous, threatening phone calls. “Forget Zakir Majeed, he is never coming back.” While she was still in Khuzdar, a fresh wave of killing and dumping of bodies started. They found Ghaffar Lango’s body. Lango, father of five daughters and a son, had been missing for three years. He was found near Gadani, his head full of wounds inflicted with a blunt weapon. Then they found Sameer Rind’s body. Rind was 24 and missing for a year. His sister had been campaigning along with Farzana. Then Jalil Reiki’s body was dumped. Jalil had been missing for two years. His father Qadeer Baloch had been organising all the protests. Then Sana Sangat’s body was found. Sana had been missing for three years. His body had 28 bullets in it.

All were Zakir Majeed’s comrades, all were killed after years of captivity. Their bodies told stories of unspeakable brutalities. Farzana’s life is built around demanding an end to these stories. Farzana changed her phone number, left Khuzdar and went back to the protest camp. For the first two years, Farzana and her family kept getting messages from Zakir Majeed. She has a mental picture of her brother and his whereabouts. He is in a dungeon, with his other friends. “He was kept in Quli Camp. Other people who were kept in that camp and released brought us his messages,” says Farzana. But she hasn’t received any message for the last six or seven months. “He used to send us his love. He took the buttons off his shirt and sent us, to reassure us that he was alive.” Farzana speaks without any bitterness, in a matter of fact way even when she is rattling off the names of her brother Zakir Majeed’s dead colleagues and the number of wounds on their bodies. But she gets angry when she talks about herself. “Look at me. I am 27 years old. Zakir is now 25. I want my life. I have my needs. What kind of life is this? I am spending all my life at protest camps in the hope that they’ll not kill my brother? What kind of life is this?” She has given up on the state of Pakistan and its people.“Isn’t it quite obvious that they hate us Baloch people? If Zakir has committed a crime why don’t they bring him to a court, put him on trial, and punish him? Why are they punishing the whole family, the whole nation?”

How does she spend her time at the protest camps? “I read,” she says. “Books about politics. Books about revolutionaries. I have read Che Guevera’s biography. I have read Spartacus. I am currently reading Musa Se Marx Tak. I am learning. I am learning about revolutions and other people’s struggles.” Mohammed Hanif’s pamphlet The Baloch Who is Not Missing and Other Who Are is published by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Baloch students and activists protest in front of Australian Parliament

Australia : Baloch activists and students organised a protests demonstration against human rights violation in Balochistan, in front of Australian parliament on Saturday.

The participants of the protest were carrying placards demanding end to military operations in Balochistan. The participant of the protest also carried pictures the enforced-disappeared Baloch and victims of extra judicial killings.

Ahmer Rehman, a student activist from Balochistan, addressing the gathering said it was a known fact that Balochistan was occupied by Pakistan and Iran. However, the focus of his talk was Pakistan occupied Balochistan. He said, “In Balochistan the Baloch people are living their life under the shadow of guns and inhuman atrocities. Their physical survival is at stake because of the systematic and organised genocidal policies of Pakistan.” He said the Baloch struggle was the response to cultural domination, economical exploitation, Political subjugation and occupation of the Baloch land by the Pakistan.

He further said that in the last five years Pakistani military and intelligence agencies abducted thousands of Baloch political activists including Doctors, Lawyers, Students, Teachers, Journalists and Baloch intellectuals. “The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons documented more 14000 thousand Baloch have been abducted and they are in the custody of the Pakistani intelligence agencies,” Said Mr Ahmer Rehman. He said the VBMP further reported that more than seven hundred torture mutilated dead bodies of the Baloch missing persons were dumped across the roadsides and mountains in Balochistan and in the different cities of the Pakistan.

Mr Rehman said in the beginning of 2013 the Pakistani military conducted deadly military operations and carried out indiscriminate bombardments on civilian population in the Mashkay region of the Awaran district in Balochistan. Many women and children were killed and wounded in during Mashky operation, he added.

He said most recently Pakistani security forces sieged the village of Mangochar in Kalat district Balochistan. In this fresh operation many Baloch were killed and many of them were abducted by Pakistani military and their intelligence agencies.

His speech Mr Rehman said, “Keeping in view all these atrocities, I would also like to record my protest against the silence of international media. It is shameful that international media is not highlighting the state atrocities and the gross human rights violations, which Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies are committing against Baloch Nation. We request the free media of the world to please take notice of these Pakistani crimes and highlight them.”

He appealed to the Australian government in these words: “I appeal to the Australian government to take notice of these atrocities of Pakistan and raise the issue of Balochistan human rights situation in the international forums such including the United Nations. I would also like to appeal to the other civilized and democratic countries counties to take an immediate action and pressurise the Pakistani government to stop the Baloch genocide and ongoing military operations across the Balochistan.”

Courtesy: Baloch Warna

Hundreds of Baloch rally in Karachi against media blackout in Balochistan, BNF announced to boycott Pakistani media

Karachi : The rally called for UN intervention in Balochistan and urged the international media to break their ‘criminal silence’ on Pakistani state atrocities in Balochistan.

Large numbers of Baloch women, children, and elderly have participated in a precession against military operations in Balochistan and media’s failure to report about Baloch genocide by Pakistan. The rally set off from Ath Chowk in Lyari, also known as Nawab Bugti Chowk, and marched all the way to Karachi Press Club. The Baloch National Front, an alliance of BSO-Azad and BNM, had given the call for the rally.

The participants of rally were carrying banners, placards and flags of Balochistan. They chanted slogans against Pakistan and its security agencies. They also painted walls and shutters of closed shops with graffiti including: “BALOCH WANT FREEDOM, NO VOTE NO ELECTION AND STOP BALOCH GENOCIDE.” The rally transformed into a huge demonstration after they reached to the Press Club.

Addressing the gathering the female activists of BSO-Azad demanded the international media to fulfil their journalistic responsibilities in Balochistan instead of distorting the facts. They demanded to know the whereabouts of thousands of abducted Baloch activists and why the international media and international human rights organisations were ‘criminally silent’ on gross human rights violations in Balochistan.

They said despite state’s [Pakistan’s] genocidal policies and the silence of international media and human rights organisations, the Baloch people’s struggle over the years has taken the form of a strong national struggle for independent Balochistan. “The Baloch freedom movement has gained international recognition,” The protester claimed.

“Today we are on the streets and protesting against the ‘criminal silence’ of the international media on Pakistan’s atrocities against Baloch people. We are rallying in order to bring the plight of the Baloch people to the attention of international powers and the international media,” the speakers said. The silence of UN and the international world about Pakistan’s atrocities against Baloch people was not only threat for Balochistan but it was also a danger to the peace of world, they said.

They urged the UN, US and the rest of the international community to stop supporting Pakistan and any aid to Pakistan must be conditioned to improvements of human rights and ending the genocide of Baloch people. “Because of world’s support and international media’s silence, Pakistan is continually committing crimes against humanity in the region.”

The participants of the rally said instead of supporting Pakistan the world powers should support the Baloch people’s struggle for freedom. A free Baloch state would help the world in their effort to eradicate extremism and terrorism which is fast spreading across the world with the support of Pakistan.

The protesters appealed to the UN to immediately intervene in Balochistan and bring the Pakistan rulers and military generals to International Court of Justice for their war crimes and crimes against humanity. They urged the international media, especially, the BBC and Voice for America (VOA), to break their ‘criminal silence’ and expose the state barbarism against Baloch people.

Meanwhile in a separate statement the BNF [BSO-Azad and BNM) announced to boycott all Pakistani electronic media channels including a Balochi TV channel ‘VSH News’ in Balochistan due to the intentional censoring of Baloch Genocide.

The spokesperson the alliance said that the behaviour of Pakistani media channels in Balochistan is very negative and the channels have continuously been acting as the mouthpieces of Pakistani Army. The statement further read: “Pakistani channels completely ignored the massive rallies of BNF in Karachi and in Turbat, which shows the true intentions of Pakistani media." “The Balochi TV channel, VSH News, also failed to do the coverage protests of BNF."

The representative further said that the media channels did not only conceal the brutal military operations in Mashkay, Gehbon, Mastung and other parts of Balochistan but also acted as the representatives of Pakistani forces.

“Due to this negative role of Pakistani media channels the BNF has come to the decision that all Pakistani media channels including VSH TV will be banned in Balochistan for unspecified period of time,” said BNF representative.

Courtesy :Baloch Warna

Missing: The Boy On The Bicycle —Mohammed Hanif

SIX years after Hafiz Saeed Rehman went missing from Sariab Road Quetta, the police dug up a grave to look for him. The High Court ordered that a body be exhumed because Quetta police, after giving half a dozen other explanations for his disappearance, had started saying that Hafiz Saeed had been killed. His father Allah Bakhsh Bangulzai who has been campaigning for his son’s release for nine years, didn’t believe the police. “I knew it wasn’t his grave, I knew my son wasn’t dead,” insists Allah Bakhsh, who runs a small grocery store near his house. Allah Baksh Bangulzai’s faith wasn’t just the faith of a father who can’t bring himself to believe that his eldest son might be dead. He had seen with his own eyes the body that was buried in that grave. Nine year earlier looking for his newly disappeared son Allah Baksh had done the rounds of the mortuaries. “They showed me two bodies,” says Allah Baksh. He had a really good look. “They were both my son’s age. One boy had his throat slit. Another one had his legs cut off just below his knees. I was relieved neither of them was my son.”

Hafiz Saeed became one of almost 1300 disappeared Baloch citizens whose families have been holding almost a perpetual vigil for their release. They travel from distant villages and towns to hold three-month-long protest camps outside Islamabad and Karachi Press Club but our press usually ignores them. When Voice of Missing Baloch Persons recently held a rally to mark one thousand days of their protest, no TV channels covered it.

After his visit to the local morgue, Allah Baksh was convinced that his son was alive. For next six years Allah Baksh’s son kept making fleeting appearances in various reports, official documents and court hearings. Once it was admitted in Balochistan High Court that he was in the custody of our intelligence organisations. Once he was told that his son had been sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment because he was a terrorist. Then the high court was told that he was doing his time in Gujranwala jail. But after six years of running up down the country and knocking at every one’s door Allah Baksh stood besides a grave waiting for a body to be exhumed, certain in his heart that it wouldn’t be his son.

Hafiz Saeed left his home on the evening of July 4, 2003. It was a Friday and there had been a huge bomb blast in the area. Forty people died in that blast and soon after a curfew was imposed. “He came home after his maghreb prayers, got on his bicycle and left,” remembers Allah Baksh. He repeats the same details over and over again as if he has missed something and if he can remember the exact sequence of events, he’ll find out where his son is right now. “There was a curfew in our part of the city, the curfew started at 6pm and Hafiz left home at 6.15.” Six years of searching his memory and he still has no answer why his son left home just after the curfew came into effect. “May be he thought if you are on a bicycle nobody will bother you. May be he didn’t know that a curfew has been imposed. I don’t know what he was thinking.”

Hafiz Saeed was 25 when he disappeared. He was an obedient and bright son. He had done his Hifz-i-Quran by the age of 15. He went on to do his matric privately. He was teaching other children Hifz-i-Quran at Iqra School. He was the eldest in the family and was engaged to be married a year after he disappeared.

With his madressha background, his teaching job, his beard and his shalwar above his ankle, a lot of people, specially the security forces, tend to jump to the conclusion that Hafiz must have been somehow involved with some religious cult, some jihadi organisation. “He never did any of those things. After finishing his teaching work at school, he came straight to my shop in Gharib Abad and helped me out. He had cousins who were also madressah teachers. Sometimes they visited. I never heard anything political. He was very pious, yes, but he was a straight boy. He was the eldest of my children, he was close to me. I would have known.”

Hafiz Saeed didn’t return home that night. “My son had never not spent a night at home. I got worried. I started looking.”

Hafiz Saeed and his family had no personal enmity. His father assumed that Saeed had been picked up by the law-enforcing agencies for violating the curfew. He thought about kidnapping for ransom but told himself that who would expect a ransom from someone as poor as him. He registered an FIR, did the rounds of the hospitals and asked everyone he could.

“Fifteen days later a man came looking for me,” says Allah Baksh. “He came on a motorbike, introduced himelf as Yasin from MI.” Yasin from MI asked Allah Baksh if his son Hafiz Saeed was involved with any Jihadi organisation. “I told him that he wasn’t involved with anyone or anything except his teaching and my shop.” The man on the motorbike assured Allah Baksh that MI will investigate and if he was with any of the law-enforcing agencies, he’ll be released.” For next three months Allah Baksh kept looking but didn’t hear anything from anywhere. He filed a petition in the high court. The petition has been going on for eight years, now, but not once has he seen a glimpse of his son despite various orders by the court saying that a meeting should be arranged between the missing person and his family. He has not had any kind of contact with his son during this time.

In the intial hearing a statement submitted on behalf of the ISI said that Hafiz Saeed had been arrested after he was injured in the bomb blast and he was being interrogated. Crime Branch also confirmed in a separate report that Hafiz Saeed was in the custody of ‘sensitive agencies’. The high court instructed that a meeting be arranged with the family. The meeting never happened. Instead Crime Branch submitted another report, this time saying that Hafiz Saeed wasn’t in the custody of ‘sensitive agencies’.

Allah Baksh wrote letters to President, to Chief Justice but never heard back. For 11 months he sat in a protest camp outside Quetta Press Club. For all these years there was no sighting, no news of his son but he didn’t give up.

Then out of the blue a list surfaced in Quetta High Court in 2009. There were 13 missing people on it. They were all supposed to be serving time in jails. Hafiz Saeed was on it. According to the list he had been court martialled and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. The report said that he was in Gujranwala jail.

Allah Baksh managed to contact HRCP who sent one of its people to Gujranwala jail. The jail authorities said they didn’t have Hafiz Saeed. Allah Bakhsh went back to the high court and this time police filed a submission that Hafiz Saeed had actually been killed in that blast and buried.

By now Hafiz Saeed had been suspected of being involved in the blast, suspected of being injured in the blast, and now six years later his family was being told that Hafiz Saeed had actually died in the blast. Allah Baksh reminded the court that his son had left home four hours after the blast happened. High court ordered a DNA test. Police were basically saying that one of the bodies that they had shown Allah Baksh six years ago was his son’s. “I had had a good look at those bodies,” Allah Baksh again gives a graphic description of the slit throat and decapitated legs. “That wasn’t my son.”

Before they exhumed the body that wasn’t his son’s, they gave him some clothes and asked if he recognised them. “These clothes didn’t belong to my son. After he became a Hafiz-i-Quran he never wore a shirt with buttons. But just to make sure I took these clothes to show his mother. And she also said that these were not his clothes.”

The body was exhumed and as Allah Baksh had predicted it wasn’t his son. He was relieved. But not for long. He says that secretly he envies people who have found the bodies of their loved-ones. “They have buried them and now they mourn them,” he says. “All I can do is wait.”

And while he waits, Allah Baksh can’t stop thinking of the events of that fateful evening. “What I don’t understand is that he came home after offering his maghrib prayers. There had already been a bomb blast. Then he took his bicycle and went out. There was curfew outside. I don’t know why he went out.”

Mohammed Hanif is an author and journalist. His pamphlet The Baloch Who Is Not Missing and Others Who Are is published by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Pakistani security forces attacked across Balochistan, Two PAF personnel killed in Pasni

Quetta : The Baloch freedom fighters claimed to have killed several Pakistani security forces personnel including two staff of Pakistan Air Force in different attack across Balochistan on Monday.   

According to Balochistan national media reports at least three people, including two personnel of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), were killed and another PAF personal was injured in Pasni, Gwadar District. The Pakistan Air Force personnel were shopping at the Zareen Markeet when armed men on motorbike opened fire on them.   

Resultantly, three people, including two PAF personnel and a shopkeeper were killed, while a PAF official sustained bullet injuries. The deceased were identified as Muhammad Ibrahim from Skardu, Khurram Shahzad from Rawalpindi and the shopkeeper identified as Elahi Bukhsh, a resident of Mashkey Balochistan, while the injured was identified as Nabi Shah.   

Pasni Tehsildar Shey Akbar Baloch while speaking to Daily Times said: “The law and order situation is not good in Pasni and we had asked the security personnel to inform us before visiting the city so that we could provide them security.”   

Meanwhile, Gwahram Baloch, a spokesperson of the Baloch Liberation Front (B L F) has claimed responsibility for the attack on Pakistan Air Force personnel. He said Pakistani security forces were on the target of Baloch freedom fighters and warned the general public to stay away from Pakistani security forces personnel, check posts and vehicles.   

“Our main target was the PAF personnel and we regret that a local shopkeeper was also killed as the result of our attack,” said Gwahram Baloch.  

He further claimed that fighters from his organisation have also killed a Frontier Corps (F.C) man in Prom region of Panjgur town in Balochistan.  

In a separate attack several worker of FWO (Frontier Work Organisation), a construction and military engineering branch of the Pakistani Army, have reportedly been injured in Panjgur, Balochistan.   

Jiand Baloch, a spokesperson, of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has accepted responsibility for the attack on military’s construction company.   

Mr Baloch has also warned the drug traders in Panjgur to mince their ways. “We warn the drug sellers to stop selling lethal drugs to local Baloch youth. Otherwise the Baloch sarmachar (freedom fighters) will attack them. “  

A man, identified as Muhammad Jamal, was shot dead by unknown men, riding a motorbike, at Al-Faisal Chowk in Khuzdar on Monday.   

BLA spokesperson Jiand Baloch claimed responsibility for gunning him down and said that he was a staff of Pakistan’s secret agencies.   

Three Pakistani security forces personnel have also reportedly been killed in Soro region of Mand town in Balochistan. Baloch Republican Army (BRA) spokesperson, Sarbaaz Baloch, claimed responsibility for the attack, adding that fighters from his organisation attack a check post of Pakistani forces and injured several personnel of Frontier Corps.   

Sarbaaz Baloch also claimed that BRA fighters have killed another two personnel of security forces in Baar Bozh area of Dera Bugti and Tump Balochistan respectively.   

Baloch resistance organisations, fighting for the independence of Balochistan, have recently escalated their attacks against Pakistani security forces across Balochistan.