Balochistan and the agencies

As long as this cycle of violence remains, there is little hope of a peaceful resolution to Balochistan’s woes.

Editorial February 16, 2012

On the same day that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced an All-Parties Conference to discuss the Balochistan issue, the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights urged both the government and the judiciary to do more to stop the gross violations of human rights by the military in the province. Unfortunately, the National Assembly as well as the civilian leadership, has paid little more than lip service when it comes to Balochistan. That was the case in 2008, when Gilani, amid much hope and publicity, announced the Balochistan package — a fairly sensible document that spoke of real reform. However, this document has been gathering dust, never to be spoken of and never to be acted on again. Instead, the National Assembly found it more useful to pass a resolution condemning the US Congress for daring to discuss the situation in Balochistan last week. Challenging the US is all well and good, but when it comes to investigating or even simply condemning, the Frontier Corps’ policy of extrajudicial killings and illegal abductions, the legislative body suddenly loses its tongue.

There is slightly more hope that the judiciary may be more effective than the legislature at forcing the military to mend its ways in Balochistan. On January 27, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ordered the heads of the ISI and MI to produce a report documenting the killings in the province. As in Gilani’s contempt case and in the case of the Adiala Jail prisoners, who were abducted by the intelligence agencies, the Supreme Court has shown that it is capable of holding the powerful accountable. The chief justice himself has ties to Balochistan so this might also spur him into further action.

The problem, however, is that it may already be too late. Separatist sentiment in the province is now already widespread and nationalist groups have no problem with responding to military violence with violence of their own. As long as this cycle remains unbroken there is little hope of a peaceful resolution to Balochistan’s woes. Meanwhile, the scores of people who have been spirited away to some military torture cell, or killed for no reason other than their provincial identity, will continue to be denied justice.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2012.


khan of quetta | 9 years ago | Reply

@Baloch loyalty: am i a foriegn spy my brother is in pakistan airforce and i am local of quetta i am too going to join army and you are indian agent the bla blows gas lines and makes people shiver in cold they make losses to balochistan they are now killing investors and scaring away tourist that flocked ziarat and quetta once

Baloch loyalty | 9 years ago | Reply

The Baloch army alone will be able to kick out those foreign spies, conspirators and their partners in crimes staging anti Pak atmosphere in order to grab resources from Pakistan. That's why Pak Army should be stationed there indefinately and not to take its eyes off Balochistan - it is their national duty towards their nation. The army should not worry about any sardars and should not trust any sardars as they may be a part of the conspiracy. Any region that gets infestated with foreign spies, terrorists and insurgents should lose its cuvillian rights and Military should take over as an absolute must!!

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