Balochistan: 35 disappeared, 37 killed in June

Balochistan: 35 disappeared, 37 killed in June

The Human Rights Council of Balochistan has obtained distressing information regarding human rights violations during the month of June 2023. In this period, the Council received partial details of 37 extrajudicial executions and 35 cases of enforced disappearances in Balochistan. Tragically, these incidents encompass four cases of honor killing, 21 instances of targeted killings carried out by unidentified gunmen, and the disturbing emergence of six bodies belonging to individuals who were previously reported as disappeared.


Fake Encounters:

On June 13, a shocking revelation emerged surrounding the discovery of four missing individuals who were allegedly killed and buried by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD). The incident, which came to light after two years, has raised significant concerns regarding the killing of victims of enforced disappearance in fake encounters by the CTD and its handling of the situation.

According to details, on August 30, 2021, the CTD issued a letter to various officials, including DC Khuzdar and DC Awaran, providing crucial details about the victims. The identified individuals were Ghulam Jan, Nasir Farooq, Abdul Qayyum, and Kamal Khan. Ghulam Jan, son of Baran and a resident of Bhosa Mandi, Maghrabi Bypass Quetta, Nasir Farooq, son of Ghulam Farooq and resident of Mohalla Sadiqabad, Khuzdar, Abdul Qayyum, son of Zehri Khan Noor Gama Zehri, Khuzdar, and Kamal Khan, son of Bahot and resident of Choko Awaran.

According to the CTD, these individuals were allegedly killed in an encounter and subsequently declared abandoned, resulting in their burial with the assistance of Edhi services. However, the families of the victims were kept unaware of the circumstances surrounding their loved ones’ deaths for two years. This lack of timely information has understandably caused distress and anguish among the relatives.

In particular, the family members of Abdul Qayyum Zehri, son of Zehri Khan, received news of his burial through the media. The family claims that Abdul Qayyum was taken into custody by Pakistani security forces from the Hub Chowki area in November 2020 and had been missing ever since. The sudden revelation of his burial as an unclaimed body has intensified their grief and sparked further questions regarding the circumstances leading to his death.

Another body was identified as Nasir Jan Qambrani, who was forcibly abducted from the Zehri area of Khuzdar in January 2021. Similarly, the relatives of the remaining two individuals mentioned on the provided list are yet to identify their loved ones and await further information.

The failure of the authorities to promptly inform the families of the victims about their deaths has raised significant concerns about transparency, accountability, and the protection of human rights. The lack of communication and the subsequent delay in disclosing such critical information has further deepened the trauma experienced by the affected families.

Honor Killings:

The prevalence of honor killings targeting women has reached an alarming pace, demanding immediate attention. Despite the severity of the issue, it has consistently been overlooked and underestimated. Furthermore, the collaboration between local authorities and tribal chiefs, coupled with a lack of accountability and negligence, has exacerbated the situation, emboldening perpetrators to commit these heinous acts without fear of repercussions. During the month of June, four more cases of honor killings have been reported, highlighting the urgent need for intervention.

On June 9, in Mastung, a man named Khair Jan, along with his brother-in-law, mercilessly shot and killed his wife, a resident of Hal Amach Halimabad, in the name of honor. Bashir Ahmed, son of Muhammad Zaman and a resident of Kongarh, also fell victim to this heinous act.

In the Kahan area of the Kuhlo district, another woman lost her life in the name of honor, but her identification remains unknown at present. It has been reported that a person named Zebdar Aliani has been accused of having an extramarital affair, leading to this tragic event.

Zafar Ali, son of Abdul Sattar Khosa, was shot dead near Jhal Magsi Dehru Mai Faqir. Sources indicate that this act was perpetrated in the name of honor, further emphasizing the gravity of the issue.

The increasing number of honor killings reflects a deep-rooted societal problem. The collaboration between local authorities and tribal chiefs, combined with the absence of accountability and negligence, contributes to the perpetuation of this brutal practice. Immediate and decisive action is required to break this cycle of violence.

Furthermore, a total of 24 individuals fell victim to targeted killing incidents, with three of them being allegedly executed by the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) on grounds of being state informants. Additionally, two externally displaced individuals were fatally shot in Iranian-administered Balochistan.

The ineffectiveness of law enforcement agencies has resulted in Balochistan becoming a lawless region, where acts of violence can be committed with impunity. Disturbingly, many of these killings are carried out by state-sponsored mercenaries, who have been granted unchecked authority to exploit the already marginalized population of Balochistan. On average, two lives are lost each day in Balochistan, posing an alarming situation. The absence of accountability further exacerbates the prevailing circumstances.

Enforced disappearances:

During the month of June, the Human Rights Commission of Balochistan (HRCB) received distressing reports of enforced disappearances involving at least 35 individuals. These cases involve the Frontier Corps, Army, and Police CTD, pointing to the involvement of multiple security forces in these incidents. Alarmingly, among the victims are six students, including three who are underage. Notably, the well-known poet Sakhi Sawar also fell victim to enforced disappearance under mysterious circumstances. These incidents highlight the grave human rights situation and the urgent need for immediate action to address this concerning trend of disappearances in Balochistan.

On May 30, Ilyas Dagarzai and Hafiz Karim Dagarzai, two brothers from the Pendukzai area of Kharan, were forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces from Panjgur Chitkan. Ilyas was running a hotel, while Hafiz Karim managed a retail shop.

Miraj Aslam, a student at the Aslam Optic Institute of Technology in Karachi, was forcibly disappeared from the Clifton area on June 01. His whereabouts remain unknown.

On the same day, Pakistani forces raided a shop in Tump Dazan, Kech, resulting in the forced disappearance of Miran son of Abdul Wahab. Additionally, Mahmood, a visually impaired individual from Mashkay Mihi, was forcibly disappeared from the Gajar area in Mashkay.

On June 04, three individuals were detained by Pakistani forces in Awaran Mashkay Kaalar. Abdul Nabi, forcibly displaced five years ago, Rahim Daad, forcibly relocated three years ago, and Muhammad Azam were all subjected to enforced disappearance.

Abdullah Sasoli and his two sons, Amanullah Sasoli and Hidayatullah Sasoli, were forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces from the Riku area of Nushki five months ago. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

Renowned Baloch poet Sakhi Bakhsh, also known as Saki Sawar, went missing on June 05 from the Nal Grisha Sareej area of Khuzdar. Concerns are raised that he has been forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces.

On the same day, Pakistani forces conducted raids in various areas of Khuzdar, leading to the enforced disappearances of six individuals. Among them, Yasir from Bulbul has been identified.

Sajid, a resident of Kulanchi Pada in Gwadar, was forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces from the Kulanchi Pada area on June 06.

On June 08, armed men raided the house of Mohammad Ramzan Shahuzai in Khuzdar and abducted his daughter, Farzana. The father has appealed to higher authorities for immediate action and the safe return of his daughter.

Three underage students, Abdullah, Shay Mureed, and Fateh, were forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces from Turbat on June 14. While Abdullah and Shay Mureed were recovered on June 21, Fateh remains missing.

Pakistani forces conducted raids in Zumdan and Chairman Rehman Bazar areas of Buleda, resulting in the severe torture and enforced disappearance of Muslim son of Arif.

On June 15, two individuals, Yahya Baloch and Sajid Pasran, were forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces during a raid in the Sarekan area of Panjgur. Qadir Bakhsh was also summoned to a military camp in Panjgur and remains missing.

On June 16, two students, Muhammad and Asim, were abducted from Karachi. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

Laila, a resident of Buleda, was forcibly disappeared by armed men and subsequently handed over to Pakistani forces. Efforts to locate Laila have been in vain.

Abdul Wahab Qalandarni went missing from Bolan Colony in Khuzdar while returning home from the hospital on June 21.

Shakur, a resident of the Pulabad Kasano area in Tump, was forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces on June 25.

Asadullah, a laborer and sole provider for his family, was forcibly disappeared by Pakistani forces in Kharan on June 26.

The alarming frequency of forced disappearances in Balochistan raises grave concerns about the human rights situation in the region. Urgent action is needed to address these incidents, hold accountable those responsible, and ensure the safe return of the missing individuals. Failure to do so undermines the fundamental principles of justice and threatens the well-being of the affected families and communities.