Figure of missing men cited by Justice Iqbal challenged

Published: September 13, 2012

VBMP’s Baloch says statement on missing persons supports agencies. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN

QUETTA: 

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) Chairman Nasrullah Baloch on Wednesday condemned Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal’s statement on missing persons, slamming it as biased and in support of the intelligence agencies.

Addressing a press conference here at a hunger strike camp set up by relatives of missing persons outside the Quetta Press Club, Baloch said Justice Iqbal, who is heading the third judicial commission on missing persons, had twisted the facts during his meeting with the UN working group on enforced disappearances by stating the number of missing persons to be 26.

Contradicting the figure, Baloch said that 194 cases of enforced disappeared Baloch youth were under Justice Iqbal’s bench when he was hearing cases of missing persons, adding that the retired justice was speaking the language of Pakistani intelligence agencies who, he said, were involved in the disappearances and deaths of Baloch youth.

Baloch said various tactics were being deployed to prevent the UN working group from visiting Balochistan, saying a recent statement by Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) in which they threatened a long march against the UN working group, was a testament to his argument.

“We have never witnessed any protests from the DPC platform in favour of Baloch missing persons. Are they not Muslims?” Baloch asked rhetorically.

He appreciated the step by the UN to investigate the cases of Baloch missing persons and expressed optimism over the working group’s future investigations.

“We have been given two hours which is insufficient to place all the facts before the UN mission. There are a number of victims’ families who cannot make it to Quetta. I, therefore, request the commission to reach out to the victims’ families in far flung areas,” Baloch added.

Meanwhile, Balochistan National Party (BNP) acting president Dr Jehanzaib Jamaldini on Wednesday said that he was disappointed to find out about the chief justice’s refusal to meet the UN working group.

Jamaldini regretted Justice Iqbal’s statement, saying it had rubbed salt on the wounds of the Baloch people and was an attempt to mislead the UN working group.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.

Reader Comments (4)

  • nOOR mOHAMMAD
    Sep 13, 2012 - 11:36AM

    Baloch missing person is a reality, but the figures have been exaggerated and inflated too much. Most of the names are phony and these political parties want to over blow the issue. It is yet to be determined whether these people are in Balochistan, Afghanistan or imprisoned by some law enforcing organization.
    THE QUESTION IS WHY THEY, AND WHY NOT SOME ONE ELSE WHO ARE MORE CRITICAL AND IMPORTANT.

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  • Tufan Agha
    Sep 13, 2012 - 12:15PM

    As soon as the UN team realizes the drama behind the missing persons, The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and Balochistan National Party will show no confidence against them.
    Their opener Ch Iftikhar refused to open the match for them. They will have to depend on the sloggers now. They want the reality to remain buried and take away the game by sloganeering rather that facts and figures.

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  • Abbas Ahmad
    Sep 14, 2012 - 8:23PM

    The Baloch missing persons are in huge Numbers and the figure quoted by Justice Javed Iqbal is baseless. VFMBP has full data of at least 1400 people on their website wheras thousands others whose data is not available beacuse they belong from far flung areas of Balochistan and lack of resources of VFMBP, as they can’t reach them.

    Those who deny the reality and call this a drama, they are simply ignorants. since June 2010 over 600 people have been killed and dumped who were missing before recovery of their bodies. It proves that at least there were 600 missing persons in contrast to 26 quote by like of J, Iqbal and Rehman Malik.

    Mr. Javed Iqbal has made himself controversial by voicing the establishment’s view in missing persons case rather than remaining neutral. Now whatever report the Abbotabad commission headed by him drafts about May 2 episode, it will not be trusted by people due to Mr. Iqbals inclination towards the establishment’s view..

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  • Dr Shah
    Sep 15, 2012 - 4:18PM

    @Abbas Ahmad:
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/435867/figure-of-missing-men-cited-by-justice-iqbal-challenged/#respond-p435867
    Brother Abbas, I fully agree with your claim that the number of missing persons is very very large indeed. However, the justice Iqbal version has been deliberately distorted to mislead the domestic and international opinion at a time when a UN commission is in Balochistan. He never said that he “believed” there were only 26 missing persons in Balochistan. He stated several times against agencies about their non-cooperation hindering his enquiry to reach the correct number. The strategy behind attributing this totally wrong statement to the justice is not to make the justice controversial but to make the case of missing persons controversial. Many people, including myself, will believe justice Iqbal as he was an SC judge.
    There is even a petition by the corrupt Watan Party before a High Court to issue an injunction against the UN commission to stop their mission. The mineral resources and foreign funds will continue to perpetuate the conspiracy until Balochistan become an independent country.Recommend

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