Balochistan will look to foreigners if rights are trampled by their own people: Khattak

Published: February 15, 2012
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The committee expressed serious concerns over the recovery of mutilated bodies, targeted killing, kidnapping. PHOTO: NASEEM JAMES/FILE

The committee expressed serious concerns over the recovery of mutilated bodies, targeted killing, kidnapping. PHOTO: NASEEM JAMES/FILE

QUETTA: The Functional Committee of Senate on Human Rights has rejected a report presented by the Provincial Home Department over law and order situation and human rights violations in Balochistan. 

The committee expressed serious concerns over the recovery of mutilated bodies of missing persons, targeted killing of labourers, doctors, teachers and an increasing number of kidnappings for ransom in the province.

The committee met under the chairmanship of Afrasiab Khattak here on Wednesday and was briefed by Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai. Other members included Senator Surriya Amiruddin, Senator Farhat Abbas and Senator Hafiz Rasheed.

Addressing a news conference, Senator Khattak said the committee held its meeting in Quetta to assess the current situation of the province in detail. “The human rights situation is grave here, particularly recovery of mutilated bodies and incidents of kidnapping for ransom are matters of great concern. These issues must be taken up seriously and sincere efforts are needed by the government to normalise the situation,” he said.

The recovery of mutilated bodies, Khattak said, gave a message that the state and its institutions did not consider them their own people but rather their enemy. “The people will definitely look up to others for help if they are continuously pushed against the wall.”

The committee chairman said federal and provincial governments should take notice of this serious issue and bring the culprits to book. “There is a common perception that secret agencies are involved in enforced disappearances and dumping of mutilated bodies. If this is true, then government should control its institutions as they are damaging Pakistan’s sovereignty,” he urged.

He said some militant groups are also targeting labourers and teachers. “Violence in any shape is wrong and unjustified. Those who are involved in these killings are not the well wishers of Balochistan,” he said.

The functional committee said that targeted killing of people belonging to the Hazara community was not sectarian violence, rather an act of terrorism and that terrorist groups are behind these killings. The committee sought a report on the murder of police surgeon Dr Baqar Shah, key witness of Kharotabad massacre of foreign nationals.

The committee further suggested that laws should be introduced to curtail the power and influence of security agencies and that they should be brought under parliamentary control.

Kidnapping of Hindu people was also discussed during the meeting and the committee stated it will pressurise the provincial government to ensure the protection of life and property of minorities.

Senator Khattak said that the government cannot get away by just stating that foreign elements are involved in destabilising this province. “They should investigate what circumstances have paved way for foreign involvement. The people will look towards foreigners if their rights are trampled down by their own people,” he said.

The Senate committee said that the government should hold talks with angry Baloch people to address their grievances for a durable peace in Balochistan.

“All the Baloch political parties must be taken into confidence because if government can agree to hold talks with Taliban militants then why not with our Baloch brothers?” the committee questioned.

Gilani concedes there is a problem in Balochistan

With the Senate too taking notice of human right violations in Balochistan, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani too admitted on Wednesday that there was a problem in the country’s largest province. He intends to convene an All Parties Conference (APC) to discuss and address the issues of Balochistan, particularly the law and order situation, through collective wisdom.

“There is a law and order situation in Balochistan, which has to be addressed. We are also talking with the coalition partners in this respect,” Gilani said in an interaction with senior newspaper editors at the Prime Minister House. The Prime Minister also mentioned the incumbent government’s initiative of “Aghaz-e-Haqooq-Balochistan” to remove the sense of deprivation of the people of that province, conceding, however, the law and order situation in Balochistan had overshadowed the initiative.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • abdul jabbar
    Feb 15, 2012 - 9:11PM

    the various militant organisations operating in balochistan killing non-baloch civilians are being portrayed by the news channels as some saviours and messiahs.when the ppl of the militant organisations are killed there is widespread condemnation and anger in the media but when the militants kill civilians in balochistan there is pin drop silence,not one voice of condemnation.The deaths of baloch brothers are just as condemnable as the deaths of the non-balochs.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Feb 15, 2012 - 9:18PM

    @abdul jabbar; Same thing in Kashmir. When terrorists kill the people, it war and when army kill them, its human right violation. Its all same, just with different terminology.

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  • Pakistani
    Feb 15, 2012 - 9:33PM

    Libya and Syria will repeat in Baluchistan .

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  • hamza khan
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:02PM

    what a stupid statement. no one can look towards foreigners. there is a democratic way to air your grievances. you dont pick up a weapon and induldge in treachery. this speaks volumes about character.

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  • Salma
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:16PM

    this is kind of strange…the committee is has met again has said almost the same things it said in its previous meeting!! it seems the entire system has become a facade…no matter who is chairing … very sad!

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:38PM

    The Sardars of Baluchistan have never though for a single moment that Baluchistan is also a part of Pakistan.

    Behind the target killings, kidnappings and law and order situation, it is the strategy of the Baluch Sardars to show it to the world that they are treated like step brothers, though this is not the case.

    The government of Pakistan has been making all out efforts that Sardars of Baluchistan should come in the line for the progress of Baluchistan for individual as well as collective uplift of the Baluchs, but the agenda of Sardars are different than of the Federal Government of Pakistan.

    The Sardars of Baluchistan have put handcuffs and shackles to the Baluchs of Baluchistan.

    The day an ordinary Baluch will be freed by these Sardars, Baluchistan will start prospering similar to the other Provinces of Pakistan.

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  • workforce
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:39PM

    Its already a Nuclear dump site for Germany. This kind of help is easily available

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  • Falcon
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:42PM

    @hamza khan:
    Whether we agree to it or not, there is truth to what the senator has already said. People living there are not informed enough to get it to the streets in protest and even if they were to do it, it won’t be ‘electorally significant’ enough for our leadership to pay attention. Furthermore, local Sardars have exacerbated the situation by not only siphoning off the funds but also keeping local innocent people in the dark and eventually they are taking up arms ; just like the issue in Kashmir, why did locals cooperate with outsider Mujahideen in the past?, because they felt that no one was hearing them…so rather than passing convenient judgement, let’s try to help human beings in that part of the region by raising voice against oppression (whichever side it be from).

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  • Touseef
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:45PM

    This must have been a btw answer of our respected senator to the questioning journalist and something that’s never meant to be highlighted as crux of the interview. Grow up ET!!! pleeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssseeeeeeee

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  • ayesha khan
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:47PM

    @hamza khan: “there is a democratic way to air your grievances”

    If it is the inteligence agencies (which are state institutions) that are ding the kidnapping and the elected representatives have no control over the intelligence agencies, clearly no democratic grievance airing will solve the problem.

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  • Maryam
    Feb 15, 2012 - 10:49PM

    Well done Afrasiab Khatak. You are 100% right.

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  • Feb 15, 2012 - 11:09PM

    The people are talking about such things are not in majority, if they are in majority then why don’t they make themselves a main stream political force? because there voices are not being heard in baloch people who are loyal and, patriot to its state

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  • yusufzai
    Feb 15, 2012 - 11:19PM

    @hamza khan:
    NO ONE CAN LOOK TOWARDS FOREIGNERS? what does it mean?and about which democracy are you talking about? here i agree with RAJENDRA .Indians are doing exactly the same in Kashmir.Either they are right or we are going their path which we think is wrong.we should do something about our hypocricyRecommend

  • yusufzai
    Feb 15, 2012 - 11:26PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    what you are saying,if it is right ,it is our fault.what was our govt doing for the last 65 years.why did not someone raise this issue?what we did to empower balochis(not sardars).to be honest Balochistan accession to pakistan was sone in hanky panky style.we have not been told exact situation .Recommend

  • Mohsin
    Feb 15, 2012 - 11:34PM

    @ Rajendra: Please don’t try to confuse Balochistan with Kashmir.

    The people of Kashmir have been denied something which was promised to them in front of whole world.
    Balochistan was not occupied as Kashmir using force.
    Its not 100,000 balochs who have lost their lives. Most deaths are of outsiders trying to make their living. So keep that stupid stuff for some Indian audience.

    Balochs are only themselves and their sardars to blame for their misery. Killing poor labourers, barbers, shopkeepers is never going to help their cause. Yeah, that chaos may for sometime soothe our neighbour.

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  • Khan jr
    Feb 16, 2012 - 12:23AM

    It is quite extraordinary. The whole world, including highly reputable organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (and our own HRCP), the Chief Minister and the Attorney General of Balochistan have a accused the state agencies (in particular the FC and the intelligence agencies) for carrying out ‘kill and dump’ operations in the province. Yet people keep prattling on in complete denial. With such mentalities prevailing it is no wonder we are in such a mess!

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  • Pakistani
    Feb 16, 2012 - 12:30AM

    @Touseef: you made a very valid point , the high light ET given to this story is causing more fragile situations

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  • Hafeez
    Feb 16, 2012 - 12:54AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    I guess you need to familiarize with history. Akbar Bugti was one of the Sardars who vehemently supported Balochistan’s union with Pakistan. It is not constructive anymore to put blame on either the Sardars or foriegn elements. State has always shirked its responsibilities by putting blame elsewhere but that does not absolve it of its responsibility. So I believe State and its myopic policies are to blame for all the fuss Balochistan is undergoing.Recommend

  • Ali S
    Feb 16, 2012 - 1:05AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    “The day an ordinary Baluch will be freed by these Sardars, Baluchistan will start prospering similar to the other Provinces of Pakistan.”

    I agree wholeheartedly with your first statement and no offense to anyone, but care to elaborate on that second sentence? Exactly how do you think any province of Pakistan is prospering?

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  • OG
    Feb 16, 2012 - 1:13AM

    what the duck is wrong with our government? PPP is the worse thing to ever happen to pakistan.. (or maybe its a tie between PPP and Zia) have we not learn from our past? we lost east pakistan (courtesy ZAB.. but for some reason people still love him.) and now the situation in Baluchistan is worryingly looking the same as it did in EP. i hope whoever comes into power next give the balouch people what they seek. we take so much from Baluchistan and give so less in return.. people in power better wake up cause pakistan cannot survive without Baluchistan, which wasn’t the case with EP

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  • Ali
    Feb 16, 2012 - 1:40AM

    It is time we start taking Balouchistan seriously.

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  • ilyas khan
    Feb 16, 2012 - 2:01AM

    Balochistan is not East Pakistan because:
    Baloch tribes are 40% of population.
    There is no single Awami League machine oiled from Calcutta.
    Its much touted mineral wealth requires massive investment and expenditure, so end profit is not like oil-on-the-tap.
    If the civil-war hots up. it would not only be the State vs Rebels, but Pashtuns of Balochistan vs Rebels, as well as settled Balochs of Sindh and Southern Punjab vs Rebels.
    And the people of Balochistan? Who can express a free opinion in face of terrorism??
    Methinks the outcome is more likely to be BIAFRA than BANGLADESH!!!!
    Remember BIAFRA??? The breakaway oil-rich region of Nigeria in the 1960s???

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  • N.Khan
    Feb 16, 2012 - 2:33AM

    When will us Pakistanis realize what is actually happening in Pak today? Our army and government are both working for the US, though it may appear to you and I that they are against each other. In order to fulfill a US/NATO plan, our army and govt will go in the media and say things against the US/NATO etc etc. as this is how they get the common man to believe they are patriotic Pakistanis. The US/NATO plan now is to implement a system of governance in FATA by using the Pak army, and separate Balochistan via a separatist insurgency so the rich gas/oil of Central Asia will have a route to reach Gwador port and be sent to the West. The new leader of Pak, Imran Khan will negotiate with the tribespeople of FATA as they will not trust Zardari. This is why the Imran Khan puppet show is in full swing. Deception is the number one strategy used in order for the elite to increase their power and control over us.

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  • sylmarkhan
    Feb 16, 2012 - 3:24AM

    @Hafeez:

    akbar bhugti shook hands with quaid azam, he was very good person. musharaff should have done right thing. Maybe person in power was no fair to blochistan. is the reason akbar took arms.
    If we talked diplomaticly like quaid there could have been solution. Making smaller provinces out of blochistan like two would be great. giving back to blochistan for natural resources by way of 50 % is not very bad idea. because we are corrupt government. the land is vast need development, the people are small in population.

    we need to develop our western regions.

    look at independence the need for new capital, they made it is modern.

    look at gwadar, the new port, they finished the coastal highway. but port is still not operational.
    akbar bhughti not alive.

    if we can’t resolve our own issues due to corruption, then there will be no federation. we should go after corrupt leaders take away their assets.

    Ban parties that have corrupt practices. government need to shuffled. quaid vision need to be passed on. allama iqbal vision need to be passed on.

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