Saving Balochistan

Published: January 30, 2012

The three-member SC bench hearing a petition moved by a former president of the Balochistan High Court Association has sought detailed reports on missing persons in the province from the ISI and the MI.

The failure to adhere to Article 9 of the Constitution — which refers to the right of every citizen to life and liberty — in Balochistan is all too evident and has created a state of crisis in the province. Furthermore, the situation is worsening with every passing year. The fact that this has been taken up by the Supreme Court as an urgent matter is welcome, though there may be some Baloch who may think that it has taken the apex court long to do this.

Significantly, the three-member SC bench hearing a petition moved by a former president of the Balochistan High Court Association has sought detailed reports on missing persons in the province from the ISI and the MI. The key to the matter may lie here. Human rights monitoring groups have alleged that such agencies are behind the atrocities in Balochistan — where women lament the disappearance of brothers, sons or husbands, and mutilated, tortured bodies turn up regularly at street corners across the province. The key issue, of course, is that looking back through our history, it has been impossible to bring such agencies to account; from behind the shelter of their secret worlds they seem able to do as they please, without any questions being asked or any real pressure on them to justify their actions. It will be interesting to see if the SC bench headed by the chief justice can alter this reality and draw out some kind of confessions as to where these persons really are and who detains them illegally. According to the petition, some 5,000 persons are missing in Balochistan. This is no small number; things simply cannot continue in this fashion.

The IB and the government of Balochistan have already submitted reports, with the court already rejecting the one submitted by the IB. It is to be seen if the agencies controlled essentially by the military do the same. The SC has also summoned the attorney-general to the next hearing and asked why the federal or provincial governments are doing nothing. We certainly need to know and also establish a tradition of accountability for all agencies which operate in our country. Let us see if this can happen as this important case proceeds.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2012.

Reader Comments (7)

  • Salma
    Jan 30, 2012 - 11:27PM

    this is a good and bold editorial – but we will still boycott your channel from 1st Feb for not covering these issues in your news reporting, which means for not building a constructive debate with a larger audience and for not putting pressure to stop these atrocities.

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  • Senator Baloch
    Jan 31, 2012 - 12:39AM

    Simply, a very bold editorial. Thanks

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  • Khan
    Jan 31, 2012 - 8:53AM

    They deserve it for working for india’s RAW. Give the traitors the harshest punishments.

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  • Arjun Shetty
    Jan 31, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Balochistan’s freedom is the need of the hour. Entire world has sympathy with poor Balochs. May they achieve freedom soon.

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  • Feroz
    Jan 31, 2012 - 1:24PM

    Baluchistan has been a weak link in the chain that holds the nation together. I think if Pakistan continues to play the role of spoiler in Afghanistan it will pay a very heavy price. What is happening in Baluchistan currently is akin to seeing a movie trailer. If the military and FC are not reined in bloodshed will increase and the United Nations may intervene.

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  • geeko
    Jan 31, 2012 - 2:18PM

    @Arjun Shetty:
    What about Kashmir ? :P

    I agree though, Balochs will need greatness of hearth to ever forgive half of what our Army has done here for decades, but we should do everything possible to help them in this regards, socio-economic empowerment, cultural development, … :[

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 8:11PM

    To the Editor
    Sir,
    This article has been written too late.

    The point of no return date was 01.11.2011 when Iran’s Balochistan started waking up.

    Just like the Arab Spring the wind has now started to blow eastwards and the first clarion call of the people’s movement will now begin in Balochistan.

    Remember Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Mahatma Gandhi’s close associate.

    His legacy will now be carried forward by the non coopration movement by the oppressed people along with the activities of the national liberation movement.

    The words of encouragement,support and resource-start will coming once the Congress in the US will declare its findings o Thursday 9/02/2012

    There is only one way of stopping this and that is the Armed Forces be shut back behind Barrack doors firmly shut and people be given the freedom to elect democratically..
    May be Pakistani Citizens will surprise the world one day.
    Regards and God bless
    Viren Naik

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