State of human rights: Security forces calling the shots in Balochistan, says HRCP

Published: June 30, 2011

Gas pipeline blown up in Dera Bugti. PHOTO: FILE/ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: 

Security forces are calling the shots in Balochistan while the provincial government “seems non-existent”, according the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday.

Releasing a report titled ‘Balochistan: Blinkered Slide into Chaos’ at a press conference, the HRCP painted an alarming picture of the situation in the restive province, warning that it could get even worse if immediate steps were not taken.

The report accused the security forces of being behind enforced disappearances in the province, and said that the bodies of 140 missing persons had been found, while 71 people were still missing in the province since July 2010 to May this year

“The Balochistan government seems non-existent…

They have surrendered their authority to security forces and they (forces) are calling the shots,” said HRCP Chairperson Zohra Yusuf at the press conference, which was also addressed by HRCP Secretary-General IA Rehman, President Supreme Court Bar Association and former chairperson of HRCP Asma Jehangir, Council member Hina Jillani and Saleema Hashmi.

The report says that 18 people were murdered in target killings, while five innocent citizens became victims of sectarian killings during 2011 in Balochistan.

The mission observed that there were credible allegations of the involvement of security forces, particularly the Frontier Constabulary (FC), in the cases of enforced disappearances. “There was material on record to substantiate claims of the families that the victims were disappeared by the FC or had been killed while in custody,” says the report.

The mission learnt that agents of the state as well as the insurgents and extremists operating in the province share a common disregard for rights of the citizens. “The insurgents have murdered ‘settlers’ in target killings with impunity, while the extremists have treated the members of religious minorities as fair game,” the commission further observed.

“Enforced disappearances continue to be reported from all parts of the province and little headway has been made in ensuring the release of a large number of missing persons from unacknowledged custody of security agencies,” Jahangir said while quoting the findings of the report.

The HRCP chairperson said that there was a sense of alienation among the people of Balochistan.  Yusuf added that there is a disturbing trend of bodies of missing persons being found with signs of torture.

Hina Jilani said that there was an imbalance between civil-military relations in the province, adding that there is no political space. “There is no mechanism of accountability of security forces and they do not interact with the public,” she said.

IA Rehman said that they should make it clear that the issue of Balochistan is not one of law and order, but a political issue.

The report says that the FIRs registered against personnel of security forces in enforced disappearances remained uninvestigated without exception and courts had failed to ensure compliance with their orders.

The fact-finding commission says that at least 78 organised gangs were reported to be involved in abduction for ransom in the province and there was a widespread perception that criminal gangs and individuals involved in heinous crime enjoyed support of politicians and security forces.

The commission observed that ‘Inquiry Commission on Enforced Disappearances’ set up to investigate the cases of the missing persons had been largely ineffective, leading to people’s frustration.

The fact-finding commission says that use of forces rather than political engagement remained the preferred approach in Balochistan and the promises made in the Balochistan Package remained little more than promises.

The commission has recommended that the illegal practice of enforced disappearances stop and all security forces in the province be brought under civilian control. It recommended that the powers of decision making and governance must be restored to civilian political authorities in the province.

A detained person must be promptly informed about the charges against him and in accordance with the constitutional guarantees, should be produced in court within 24 hours and his due process rights should be respected and facilitated, the commission said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2011.

The full report can be read on the HRCP website here.


Reader Comments (47)

  • Kamran Baloch
    Jun 29, 2011 - 5:50PM

    Azaadi ab door nahi. Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:00PM

    Those who are shedding crocodile tears for Kashmir which is an integral part of India, look at Balochistan are else ‘history could be repeated’ !!!Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:04PM

    @Kamran Baloch:
    You got 19 thumps up in 13 minutes. It says more about ET readers than a hypothetical Baluchistan independence. Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:06PM

    Next Bangladesh??Recommend

  • Safir afkhan.
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:08PM

    its a funny thing why these so called human rights commision dont issud a report on swat
    and tribal area where drone attacks kills more peoples then balochistan are they working
    for some body else like many NGOs.Recommend

  • Talat Haque
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:28PM

    Nothing learned from our own history or the principles of world history ………. sad, just sad :(Recommend

  • XX
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:31PM

    Somewhat self-contradictory, this report seems;
    There are killings of settlers, it says, and then there are disappearances; and then it says that the security forces are “involved in many of the disappearances and killings” …
    Why would security forces want to kill settlers?
    You would understand the ‘disappearances’ part, in that the security forces want to take away those who they think are responsible for the killings of settlers, and other things like blowing up pipelines etc.
    And as for the ‘disappearances’, maybe we should be a little more frank about what they actually are; they are actually more like ‘arrests’, in lands where the official police forces, run by the ‘democratically-elected’ government, are unable to be effective (if they were, then why would the ‘security forces’ get involved?) – but they are not recognized as ‘arrests’ and are called ‘disappearances’ instead, due to the failure and non-existence of the ‘official’ judicial system.
    Not that I necessarily support this – nor am I necessarily against it – but call a spade a spade, please, and stop trying to aggravate the situation with these exaggerated and misleading reports.Recommend

  • ASQ
    Jun 29, 2011 - 6:49PM

    well i m really sorry to say even after azadi nothing gona change Recommend

  • Ray of Hope
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:00PM

    Now it is open secret that govt also involved in creating Greater Baluchistan, all these activities are going towards this concept. May Allah return all these conspiracies to the initiators, and May Allah destroy the enemies of Islam and Pakistan, Ameen.Recommend

  • Asma Ali
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:36PM

    It is a classical situation for a country who is on the verge of losing one of its parts and for a Nation to get its independence , we have witnessed this before on 1971.History may not repeat itself in every particular,But it seems that we are threading the ways we have already travelled before. The state of denial has led us no where.Recommend

  • Sanjith Menon
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Kashmiris who blame us, need to look at both Lahore resolution and the attachment of the Khanate of Balochistan, to know, a few things.Recommend

  • janjua
    Jun 29, 2011 - 7:58PM

    haters of Pakistan will not succeed in their agenda..inshallah LONGLIVE PAKISTANRecommend

  • Rahat
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:01PM

    why does express tribune gives small news with big headlines.. surely this site is a propaganda against Pakistan and its security forcesRecommend

  • Rehman
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:05PM

    We want an independent Balochistan! Us Balochis have been tolerating discrimination since Pakistan was born, 60+ years. And it’s time we parted ways. You people don’t even respect us. And it’s not like we’ll be losing anything by getting independence. Pakistan is a Taliban and extremist state already!Recommend

  • Abrar
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:26PM

    @Asma Ali:
    40% of india is infected with naxal moists, who are raising and challenging india’s unity, you should worry about that, lol.. haters of Pakistan daydreaming, ET is nothing but a joke, reality is different, Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:44PM

    @Asma Ali:
    ‘East Pakistan’ was a totally different cultural and ethnic entity separated by a big geographical boundary; truth is that M.A. Jinnah and Muhammad Iqbal never had Bangladesh in mind for their State, as, apart from religion, there wasn’t any similarity. The Baloch are different, and constantly to some opinions, I don’t think that Balochistan is lost. Just see Achakzai comments on Baloch youth, or the recent thousands of Balochs who joined the Army just some weeks before.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 29, 2011 - 8:45PM

    fake news its not even on HRCP website, does anyone know who is running this site. very strange Recommend

  • ImnIndian
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:14PM

    pak should first conduct a plebisite in balochistan instead of asking the same for kashmir !!!Recommend

  • Madadr
    Jun 29, 2011 - 11:46PM

    All PAKISTANIs need to band together to save Baluchistan. The Baluchis have equal right to Pakistan. We need to assist our blood brothers in this time of need. Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jun 30, 2011 - 12:21AM

    Let the Baluch free. Pakistan is a concoction by Jinnah anyway and that too not born out of noble goals as subsequent treatment of minorities show. Let Pak Punjab, Sindh, Baluch and Pakhtoons all have their own country as the union has no noble goals worth preserving.Recommend

  • malik
    Jun 30, 2011 - 12:28AM

    Balochistan has large mineral reserves, including oil, gas, copper and gold. and yet remains Pakistan’s poorest province. It’s a small price to pay for being a part of the blessed Land Of The Pure.

    Baloch people, your time will come after the US leaves Pakistan by 2014. Recommend

  • faraz
    Jun 30, 2011 - 1:24AM

    @Safir afkhan

    Asma Jehangir filed a petition in court against extra judicial killings of militants in SwatRecommend

  • harry stone
    Jun 30, 2011 - 2:04AM

    One more example of what is rapidly becoming a fail state. I know the beloved security forces will have some briefing about how they are doing their job.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 30, 2011 - 3:14AM

    Dear friends, I have nothing to do with the above posting by my name. This last name is fairly common but I am all for the betterment of Pakistani people and their rights. Pakistan is nothing but its provinces. If the provinces are doing well, Pakistan is doing the same. If the provinces are under security of Pakistan and people are disappering then there is a serious problem, let us not hide it like we do with all the other news.
    Recommend

  • Akthar
    Jun 30, 2011 - 3:47AM

    Let me repeat what i said many times! The baloch is a independent movement & the Govt needs to negotiate with the balochis instead of army action! We need to give the balochi’s autonomy, and let them rum their business. In return they must be part of pakistan!Recommend

  • prashanth
    Jun 30, 2011 - 5:16AM

    To keep Baluchistan within Pakistan, one has to reduce the power of Punjab. Break Punjab into four provinces on ethnic lines. Reduce the strength of the core to keep the fringes, by giving them more power. Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:14AM

    Abrar: Get your facts straight. Read our Home sec interview in Rediff. Only 80 out of 695 districts are affected by Maoist violence. It is a law and order problem and perceived social injustice is the cause. It is not a terrorist problem raising out of religious bigotryRecommend

  • Northeast India independence
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:54AM

    Give independence to Kashmir and northeast maoist-infected India first. We in northeast India have suffered brutality from Indian army for 60+ yrs.

    Kashmiris should also rise and break away from India, Recommend

  • Frank
    Jun 30, 2011 - 8:21AM

    President Supreme Court Bar
    Association and former chairperson of
    HRCP Asma Jehangir, Council member
    Hina Jillani and Saleema Hashmi.

    Asma Jahangir? Well that tells you all you need to know about the credibility of this report.Recommend

  • khan
    Jun 30, 2011 - 8:30AM

    Its sad, they are our brothers and sisters, must find a solution and get rid of war on terrorism.Recommend

  • RealityCheck
    Jun 30, 2011 - 10:35AM

    @Kamran Baloch:
    Keep on dreamingRecommend

  • Kafka
    Jun 30, 2011 - 11:18AM

    I don’t know who is Pakistan’s biggest enemy………. India, America, Taliban or Khakis………….??Recommend

  • Naveed Baloch
    Jun 30, 2011 - 11:46AM

    silence on my part………………… i want to live!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 30, 2011 - 12:08PM

    The citizens are being sold the same tale given in 1971, India was behind peoples unrest in East Pakistan then and now in Baluchistan. No need for proof. The relevant question is who is making people disappear and who has given the Agencies the power to conduct such unconstitutional acts. Killing a citizen is a crime in any country, oh sorry I forgot Pakistan is not a country but a “Land of the Pure”.Recommend

  • Someone
    Jun 30, 2011 - 2:45PM

    I’m more worried and concerned of the staggering 108 thumbs-up recieved by the first comment from Mr. Kamran Baloch than this article. It speaks volumes of the Indian lobby in this website.Recommend

  • harry stone
    Jun 30, 2011 - 5:42PM

    @Kafka:

    Am interested in why you feel America is our enemy?Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 30, 2011 - 5:55PM

    Those who do not learn from History are cursed to repeat it.Recommend

  • Salah Baloch
    Jun 30, 2011 - 6:37PM

    denial , denial , denial is the problem of Pakistanis !!
    denial does not change reality !!Recommend

  • Salman
    Jun 30, 2011 - 9:08PM

    @Rehman: Even after you gain independence, you will still be living in Pakistan, as millions of Afghanis do. If you want proof look at all your Sardars who live in DHA Karachi and visit Balochistan sporadically as an expatriate would do. Iran does not want you and there is not a whole lot in Afghanistan to head there.

    Baloch have legitimate grievances and need justice and equity and humane treatment, as do the Sindhi haris and the Punjabi peasants and the Pathan laborers and proletariat against an unjust feudal and military system. Solution is not to seperate and be ruled by the brutal tribal Sardars who will only allow you to kiss the cuffs of their pants without touching their feet and continue to keep you hungry and uneducated. Solution is to struggle alongside millions of your brethren in other parts of the country who love you and support you and are struggling for their own freedom and liberty.

    The world is going towards a unified system rather than divisiveness. Look at the European Union that is striving to have a contiguous borderless area with a common currency and a common parliament in Brussels. No sense in creating unsustainable and ungovernable nation-states.

    Not too long ago we aspired to liberate ourselves from the oppressive “untouchable” culture of India and we are still struggling. Nonetheless when we look at the misery of the 328 million dalits in India we do not regret the decision. Recommend

  • Salman
    Jun 30, 2011 - 9:29PM

    @Ashok Sai: Whether the Baloch live as part of Pakistan or as a seperate nation they will remain our brothers forever just as the Bangladeshis are. Just watch the outpouring of love and brotherhood when Pakistani and Bangladeshi cricket teams meet. On rare occasions when Pakistanis loose they do so with no regrets and an expression of happiness.

    Insofar as Kashmir is considered, India too was an integral part of Pakistan just 60 some odd years ago. Instead of raising your voice against the rape and pillage of Kashmiri women and youth by 600,000 Indian soldiers in Kashmir you are worried about Balochistan???

    Pakistan was created in the far-flung areas of India that was kept backward and in bonds for centuries, save some parts of Punjab. Pakistan is struggling to create a stable state in that area and 60 years in the annals of history is just a pittance. It will succeed in creating a modern progressive state free of the backward clutches of parochial hate and religious bigotry. Try to spend time on doing something about the misery of the 328 million untouchables in India, who are twice the population of Pakistan, instead of concerning yourself with Balochistan, in whose instability the Indian hand is not insignificant.Recommend

  • Truth
    Jul 1, 2011 - 12:12PM

    All Balochis, Sindhis, Punjabis and Pathans are blood brothers. They may fight and bicker, just as they do in a family, but they are brothers nonetheless. To all Indian’s who think otherwise: Keep dreaming!Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jul 1, 2011 - 5:51PM

    Well this report to sufficient to shut the mouth of all those who still don’t believe that baloch people are being oppressed by establishment….. People should end the conspiracy theories and realise what is actually happening…..Recommend

  • human activist
    Jul 2, 2011 - 7:14PM

    how can Kamran Baloch get 127 votes

    even 125 people here all give him vote then also how can 127

    its fake news?

    drone kills people in fata activitss go there to study

    human activits dont see sri lanka ltte fight killing videosRecommend

  • punjabi munda
    Jul 2, 2011 - 9:43PM

    ALL SHOULD LEAVE IN PEACE ,EVERYONE IS TIRED OF UNMINDED KILLING AND TERROR

    GOD BLESS ALLRecommend

  • punjabi munda
    Jul 2, 2011 - 10:49PM

    JUST LIVE IN PEACE

    ENOUGH OF TENSIONS OF LIFE

    GOD BLESS ALLRecommend

  • Kamran Baloch
    Jul 3, 2011 - 9:27AM

    @human activist:
    Just shows that “Azaadi abhi door nahi” Recommend

  • wasim
    Jul 6, 2011 - 10:05AM

    We the people of pakistan respect and vows for the rights of our Baluchi Brothers. The role and agenda of indian and american inteligentia is very clear. Pakistan is suffering not only due to the external concpiracies but the internal neglegencies. We need to be strong internally as we have very powerful external attack.
    Abb b na sanbhlo k to mit jao ge
    Tmhari dastaan tak na ho gi dastaano me. Recommend

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