The year 2019 saw no improvement in the Human rights situation for the people in Pakistan’s restive province of Balochistan. Enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, target killings and military operations continued unabated and with impunity.
We have received partial details of 568 cases of enforced disappearances and 241 killings during the year 2019. Most of the forcibily disappeared persons were from Awaran, Gwadar, Kech, Khuzdar and Pangur districts of the province. Meanwhile the other twenty-seven districts of the province were not accessible to us due to continued military operations and blockade of communication networks.
Students remained a main target of military and the military backed death squads during the year 2019, as majority of the forcibily disappeared persons during the year were students.
In one of a blatant rights violations of the students, secret video cameras were found installed in the main university of Balochistan to record candid moments. Cameras were discovered in washrooms and other private places in girls hostel of the university. The recordings were used in blackmailing students. The government formed parliamentary commission played a waiting game until the issue was pushed out of the news by other human rights violations such as the forced evacuation of female students from the Bolan Medical college. We believe the issue of students’ recordings and harrasment would be put in the cold with no conclusive results coming out of the so called investigations. The reasons of this ignorance can be better understood by the fact that the university is under the control of the powerful military for years and all initial proofs point toward military’s involvement in these harrasment cases. The university itself is declared as a sub campus of army’s Frontier Corps.
None of the enforced disappeared persons were charged of any crime or illegal activity in front of any court. All the 568 persons remain disappeared and the families are unaware of the whereabouts and condition of the missing persons.