QUETTA: Missing persons’ relatives in Balochistan categorically declined to receive any compensation from the federal government on Monday, saying they want “justice, not money”.
Addressing a news conference, Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Chairman Nasrullah Baloch also rejected the interior ministry’s Crisis Management Cell report on Balochistan. He was joined by relatives of missing persons. They then torched the form provided by the government for compensation in order to record their protest.
“The report says the judicial commission tasked with tracing missing people could not find sufficient evidence against security forces and secret agencies for their involvement in enforced disappearances. This is a clear lie, because relatives not only recorded their statements nominating Frontier Corps personnel and secret agencies for whisking away their loved ones but also registered cases against them,” he told the reporters.
Criticising the judiciary’s role, Baloch said a commission was set up two years ago solely to “betray and mislead international human rights organisations that are investigating the cases”. He added that the head of the commission was changed thrice in that time period.
Baloch also said at least 100 cases were registered with the Balochistan High Court and dozens with the Supreme Court but they failed to reach any conclusion or hold those responsible accountable.
“We were promised by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry that he would personally take up the cases of missing persons. However, we had to march to Islamabad twice. Again, judges of the superior courts promised that they would trace missing persons. We received 234 bullet-riddled bodies but we are yet to see anyone return safe,” Baloch added.
He also pointed out that all the victims had direct and indirect affiliations with nationalist parties or organisations.
Seeking international intervention
While the sisters of two previously missing persons, Sameer Rind and Ghafar Lango, ended their hunger strike after their brothers were found dead in recent weeks, they are still pursuing their cases and seeking help from the international community.
Baloch also appealed to international humanitarian organisations, the United Nations and the Supreme Court to intervene.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2011.
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