Balochistan unrest: Spy agencies asked to not overstep authority

Published: March 1, 2012

The increasingly unchecked movement of diplomats and foreign NGO workers with Baloch locals was also pointed out during the session. PHOTO: APP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

In an unprecedented move to pacify frayed tempers in Balochistan, a parliamentary panel has asked the country’s spy agencies to not overstep their authority.

Baloch insurgents and rights groups have long accused the intelligence agencies of ‘wanton killings’ in the volatile province in the name of national security.

However, the effectiveness of Wednesday’s orders of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) are yet to be seen as the chiefs of both spy agencies didn’t turn up at the session.

The security establishment has always denied that spy agencies are behind enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in Balochistan.

The spy chiefs were supposed to brief the committee, which met to discuss the internal security with specific reference to Balochistan’s unrest, said a participant.

He added that officials from the defence ministry informed the committee that the ISI and MI had sought time to prepare a briefing for the lawmakers.

Voicing concern at the absence of the ISI and MI chiefs, the committee rejected the defense ministry’s request. A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker, who boycotted the proceedings, said that he did not attend the meeting because he knew ‘the ISI and MI chiefs would not appear’.

“It’s a waste of time and waste of resources. It is a futile exercise. Intelligence agencies never pay heed to directions and orders issued by the committee,” Sheikh Rohail Asghar told The Express Tribune.

Officially nothing was said about the in-camera meeting, chaired by Azra Fazal Pechuho. However, sources told The Express Tribune that the director general of Intelligence Bureau (IB), Balochistan home secretary and other officials briefed the committee about the current situation in the restive province.

The committee, it was said, voiced concerns at the increasing movement of foreign nationals in Balochistan and directed the provincial government to keep an eye on their movement. The committee was told that there were 643 foreign nationals, mostly Chinese, working in Balochistan.

The increasingly unchecked movement of diplomats and foreign NGO workers with Baloch locals was also pointed out during Wednesday’s meeting. When asked about the recovery of missing persons, the panel was told that out of 46 missing persons, 10 had been recovered.

(Read: A way forward?)

Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2012.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (16)

  • Mar 1, 2012 - 6:38AM

    Spy chief must disclose the truth, tell us clearly who is involved in the brutal killings , if foreign hands are involved then name the country and tell us what u people have done to control the situation, we just want to know truth, We Punjabis care about our Balochi brothers too

    Recommend

  • American Desi
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:28AM

    I am glad that finally people have started confronting the shenanigans of the establishment! More power to the people!

    Recommend

  • Mahesh Patil
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:42AM

    The day the civilian government asserts its supremacy over the army,Pakistan’s the most of problems will be solved and Pak will be respected by international community.The days are not far.

    Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:04AM

    “a parliamentary panel has asked the country’s spy agencies to not overstep their authority.”
    Just like asking fish to stay out of water. Our spy agencies work on political intrigues, creating brutal atmosphere and killings. It will be the greatest achievement to leash them.

    Recommend

  • Mujtaba
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:13AM

    I firmly believe that spy agencies are involved in these forced disappearances. But, can someone clear my doubts about “Why these agencies pick up people who just want their rights to live in a better way like their brothers in other provinces?”
    “Why the agencies don’t pick up these foreigners who roam around in Balochistan and are working for the vested interests of western countries?”
    Dear Spy Agencies, please give me answers to these questions.

    Recommend

  • Disco
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:16AM

    It’s common knowledge that in these ‘NGO’s are 90% foreign intelligence operative and rest are there for show only. No foreign based NGO should be allowed in Balochistan. Movement of all foreigners there should be via permission only where their movements are recorded.

    We haven’t forgotten the Mosaad episode when their operatives where openly aiding Jundullah. Intelligence agencies should be given more power to tackel them.

    Recommend

  • Anwar
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:54AM

    @Mujtaba: The “spy” agencies are involved in targeting the intellectuals in Balochistan. If you take out the literate people, there will be nobody to spread the word and keep the cause alive.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Anwar : That exactly was done in Bangladesh as well.

    Recommend

  • Mar 1, 2012 - 11:55AM

    Govt and Judiciary should also not UNDER-STEP

    Recommend

  • well-wisher
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:02PM

    There is yet a good hope that the intelligence agencies would see reason and not indulge in more abductions or killings in the interest of the state and which has also invited world wide attention besides creating BD like situation.

    Recommend

  • WoW
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:14PM

    When General Mushy was in power, he told the whole world that he would provide evidence of foreign involvement in Baluchistan. Nothing happened. Earlier this month, a Minister said proof will be bought before the NA. So far nothing only hot air for its people. How long does it take to make concocted evidence? Memogate took only days.

    Recommend

  • Nomi
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:26PM

    It takes two to tango. The problem is that Balochistan is not taken seriously by anyone let alone the establishment. What the GHQ does not realize that Pakistan is a diverse nation. Punjab and Sindh are habitually obedient while baloch and Pashtoons are rebellious in nature. Compromises must have been made. Islamic card went well for some time in Pashtoon areas, but did not do much in Baloch areas.

    Why not a Baloch president and a baloch prime minister at the same time? If we can have Zardari aka the emperor of corruption, I am sure a rebellious baloch could also be accommodated.

    Countries die just to have coastal areas while we Pakistanis never respected that.

    Recommend

  • MarkH
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:30PM

    This is a request both of them already had in mind while carrying out duties. When and if they overstep their boundaries, they know full well they’re overstepping those boundaries and aren’t supposed to. A simple request will not move anyone who counts in prevention of such a thing.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 1, 2012 - 1:06PM

    Today, it feels that a new dawn is appearing in Pakistan. More power to the people against the establishment. No wonder some hate democracy so much. The parliament is supreme.

    Recommend

  • Ghaznavi
    Mar 1, 2012 - 4:40PM

    @ vasan

    That exactly is being done in Kashmir since 1947 and continues to this day… but India remains shameless…

    Recommend

  • Aamir
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:56PM

    They are almost 14,654 peoples are missing in balochistan and 500 bodies including has been recover and how they ac say that just 48 peoples are missing disgusiting and sit they want baloch leaders to respond them and ISI AND MI agencies are involved in judicary killing in balochistan and thsi much peoples where are they gone only a government spy can do this dirty war agianst baloch as they are demanding and raising their voice .So let pakistan allow All International Media in Balochistan why are not allowing them to have survey of balochistan they will come to know the true faces of Fc,ISI AND MI that they are violation balochistan human Rights Recommend

More in Pakistan