ISLAMABAD: A total of 231 bullet-riddled bodies were found by roadsides in Balochistan in 2011, said a report launched here on Sunday.
Of these, according to Balochistan government’s Home Department estimation, the bodies of 196 missing persons were recovered mostly from Baloch-dominated districts of the province including Quetta, Sibi, Kalat, Mekran, Nasirabad and Zhob, said the report.
Titled “Balochistan’s Maze of Violence” and compiled by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), the report states that 621 people died during the course of the year in a show of staggering violence in the province.
According to the report, 281 people were shot in different incidents of target killings and firings, 68 fell prey to two deadly suicide attacks while bomb blasts and landmine explosions obliterated 120 others.
The military, in a statement, said that foreign hands were involved in the volatile region’s brewing violence.
“But we do not have evidence to support this claim. In light of the history of insurgency exploitation in the region, it is quite possible but is still just an assumption,” said CRSS Chief Executive Imtiaz Gul. He added that the security situation in Balochistan continues to aggravate with the passage of time, despite the government’s efforts to curtail the spiral.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimates that 6,000 people are still missing. The Balochistan government estimates that 117 people lost their lives in 20 incidents of sectarian violence, 92 of them Shias from Hazara community, who mostly live in and around Quetta city, according to the report.
During 2011, the militants’ relentless skirmishes with security forces resulted in the killing of 218 men belonging to the Frontier Corps, police and Levies. The Baloch Republican Army and Balochistan Liberation front claimed responsibility for most attacks.
The violence continued into 2012 too, with 60 people losing their lives in different incidents of violence in January, said the report.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.