Balochistan unrest: Panel urges govt to clip agencies’ wings

Published: February 16, 2012
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Families of missing persons protesting. PHOTO: NASEEM JAMES/FILE

Families of missing persons protesting. PHOTO: NASEEM JAMES/FILE

QUETTA: 

Rejecting a report presented by the Balochistan’s home department on the rampant human rights violations and law and order situation in the province, a senate panel has urged the government to introduce laws that clip the wings of all-powerful security agencies.

The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday warned that not taking serious steps, and pushing the province against the wall, will lead the Baloch to seek external help.

It pressed the government to undertake more “serious” efforts – suggesting laws be introduced to “curtail” the power and influence of security agencies, alleged to be involved in violations of human rights in the province.

The committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Afrasiab Khattak, and was briefed by Balochistan Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai.

“The recovery of mutilated bodies and incidents of kidnappings for ransom are particularly a matter of great concern. These issues must be taken up seriously and sincere efforts are needed by the government to normalise the situation,” Senator Khattak said, while addressing a press conference.

He added that recovery of mutilated bodies comes across as disassociation of the victims by the state and its institutions, who, it seems, “consider them as enemies rather than their own people”.

There is common perception that secret agencies are involved in enforced disappearances and dumping the mutilated bodies, Khattak said. If this is true, he added, the government should control its institutions as they are damaging the sovereignty of the country.

The senate committee suggested that laws should be introduced to bring security agencies under the democratic control of Parliament.

Senator Khattak further said that the government cannot evade its responsibilities by stating that foreign elements are involved in destabilising Balochistan. “They (the government) should investigate that what kind of circumstances have paved way for foreign elements,” he said, adding that “People will look towards foreigners when their rights are trampled down by their own.”

The senate committee suggested that the government should hold negotiations with the disenchanted Baloch to address their grievances. “All the Baloch political parties must be taken into confidence for negotiations. If the government can agree to hold talks with Taliban militants, then why not with our Baloch brothers,” Khattak said.

The report

Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai said the government had arrested 31 people in connection with kidnappings for ransoms. “Law-enforcing agencies often arrest the culprits but they are set free due to lack of evidence,” he told the committee.

He also added in his report that incidents of targeted killings had declined relatively during the past one year.

Minorities in Balochistan

The functional committee said that targeted killings of people from the Hazara community are not sectarian violence, rather acts of terrorism. Terrorist groups are behind these killings, the committee added.

Khattak said that kidnappings of members of the Hindu community were also discussed during the meeting and the committee will pressurise the provincial government to ensure protection to the life and property of minorities.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Feb 16, 2012 - 5:45AM

    So pro-Israel Musharraf killed Bugti and now law enforcement should be controlled? What is next?

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  • Disco
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:57AM

    Yes please, clip the agenceis wings so that CIA/RAW/Mossad can have a free reign in the region. Since when did HRW become a mouthpiece for Washington?

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  • Amir
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:55AM

    Does this panel has any suggestions to control BLA, BRA ? This panel is itself has members belonging to these terrorists organizations.

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  • Feb 16, 2012 - 8:11AM

    There is a point beyond which holding a Territory becomes impossible. If there is a neighbouring safe haven for Terrorists, that complicates the matter even more.

    What if after exiting Pakistan US decides to help the Balochis? Sponsoring an insurgency is cheap, I hear, just ask Pakistan!

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  • Khan Jr
    Feb 16, 2012 - 10:28AM

    It is quite extraordinary. The whole world, including highly reputable organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (and our very own HRCP), the Chief Minister and the Attorney General of Balochistan have all 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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  • Feb 16, 2012 - 12:10PM

    Clip the wing..? It should be clip the tail.

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  • Humayun
    Feb 16, 2012 - 12:43PM

    This is the fourth insurgency in the last six decades. There is fire where there is smoke. There is got be some thing like Government Mishandling of Balcohistan Issue, Neglect and Exploitation of Balochistan. Sardars and tribal elders, who usually get the blame, are traditionally favourate escape goat for the civil and military leadership for lapses on part of the Government of Pakistan.

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  • Khan Jr
    Feb 16, 2012 - 1:08PM

    Every time there is an article on Balochistan there is a spate of nonsensical comments.

    As the respected journalist and human rights activist I.A. Rehman commented in Dawn today on the Establishment-supported team of ‘denial writers’ – these people write columns and letters in newspapers and as well as post articles and comments (on a page such as this) on the Net.

    I.A. Rehman wrote: “the establishment’s response is no different than what it was in 1970-71 — the trouble in Balochistan is entirely the doing of foreign elements hostile to Pakistan who are helping a few malcontents with money and arms! The same 40-year-old script. It failed then and it will not succeed now… History does not forgive anyone who is neither blind nor illiterate and yet cannot read the writing on the wall.

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  • Feb 16, 2012 - 2:32PM

    I am not a supporter of Musharraf but at the same time he was not killer of Bugti who was actually died while fighting with the state. He was not killed while he was sitting at his home. He was killed when he and his militants fired on the security forces who invite him several times to came out from the cave and lay down arms where as he and his men continue to fire on the security forces who was forced to back fired them. This means he and his companion were involved in terrorism. Most of the baloach peoples are peaceful and are happy with the Pakistan but there are some mis-guided elements who want to be always in the head lines. Furthermore the state has the full right to protect the country, establish peace in the region. So in order to meet these goals they have to take necessary steps. Finally, I advise to security forces and intelligence agencies to arrest the culprits and put them on trial for treason. Furthermore, these killing are as a result of fighting between the different tribes who are trying to become dominant on each other.

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  • Ahmed
    Feb 16, 2012 - 2:59PM

    Vow what a justice.. lier like Naseebullah Bazai has been asked about the truth.. He even denies to agree that Agencies are performing heinous crime like dumping and throwing of mutaliated bodies

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  • Asma Baloch
    Feb 16, 2012 - 3:24PM

    @Khan Jr:
    cant be more agree…

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  • Wonderful
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:20PM

    The Agencies are doing the same routine that lead to 1971. History has NOT taught Paki anything. They would love to loose Baloch then blame the Agencies

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