An international human rights organisation appealed for urgent action to save the life of 10 detained and missing Baloch persons who, the organisation believes, face death risk.
According to Amnesty International (AI), the 10 men were taken into custody on February 18, along with 19 others, during a Frontier Corps (FC) search operation in the town of Tutak, in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district.
Of them, 18 have since been released while the body of Maqsood Qalandarani, an activist of the Baloch Student Organisation-Azad, was found in a sack in the Jabal-e-Noor area near Quetta on July 16.
Qalandarani appeared to have been tortured and Amnesty said it fears that the 10 remaining men face the same fate.
According to local news reports, the police discovered a note in Qalandarani’s pockets, saying he was an ‘agent of the Baloch Liberation Army’.
The remaining 10, most of whom belong to the Qalandarani tribe, have not been seen since February 18 and are at risk of torture … as well as extrajudicial execution, the rights groups says.
“Bullet-riddled bodies of abducted men, many showing signs of torture, are being found in increasing numbers across Balochistan and illustrate a growing trend of ‘kill and dump’ operations in the province,” it adds.
Between October 24, 2010 and May 31, 2011, Amnesty recorded 73 enforced disappearances and 108 possible extrajudicial executions of Baloch activists, teachers, journalists and lawyers.
According to AI, at least 93 people out of the total 108 killed had been subjected to enforced disappearance.
The 10 detainees include Atiq Mohammad Qalandrani, Khalilur Rehman Qalandrani, Wasim Rehman, Nisar Ahmed, Aftab Qalandrani, Naseb Rehman Qalandrani, Mohammad Raheem Khan Qalandrani, Dr Mohammad Tahir Qalandrani, Fidah Ahmed Qalandrani and Nadeem Qalandrani.
The FC spokesperson, when contacted, categorically rejected the allegations.
“It is a baseless report and the FC did not carry out any operation in Khuzdar nor is there any person in FC custody,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.