Balochistan: Nineteen people, including two in name of honour, killed in November

Human rights violations continued unabated in Balochistan in November, including enforced disappearances and extrajudicial execution of dissidents. In recent months, several journalists, intellectuals and teachers critical to government policies have been forcibly disappeared and later released without any explanation.

On November 28, unknown armed men whisked away the head of the Brahui Department at Balochistan University Dr Liaquat Sani along with two colleagues Nizam Shahwani and Shabir Shahwani from Ghulam Padinz in Mastung. Two of the professors were released later in the day in Kanak area of Mastung while Dr Sani was released two days later on November 30. He claimed that he was physically and mentally tortured during the detention.

Furthermore, Sana Baloch, an MPhil student, who had been abducted by the security forces on May 11 this year was handed over to police in Kharan on November 22. The charges against him have not been reported in the media. Similarly, Obaid Ghulam Rasool was released on November 29 after remaining disappeared for more than two years. He was abducted in a military raid on his wedding night on October 11, 2018. On Nov 9, Abdul Malik son of Muhammad was released. He had been picked up by security forces from High School Nizarabad in district Kech on 28 January 2019.

Enforced disappearances continue to remain the major issue across Balochistan where security forces involuntarily disappear dissidents and their family members with absolute impunity. Forces detain victims incommunicado for long periods of time without fear of being held accountable for violating the law and constitution. Such practices not only lead to inciting more violence but also leave people vulnerable and on the mercy of security forces.

On 17 November, two brothers Yaqoob Mureed and Ghulam Jan Mureed were summoned to the army camp in Mashkay, district Awaran. They have not returned. Five days later, on November 22, their brother Dil Jan Mureed was asked to come to the military camp. He, too, has not returned home.

Ghulam Jan Mureed is a victim of torture and ill treatment. In December 2018, forces picked him up in a raid on his home. He remained in their illegal custody for seven months and was later released in critical condition. He was subjected to inhuman torture in detention and remained on medication for months for the injuries he sustained during the torture.

In recent years, it has become a routine procedure the army has implemented after taking control of the area a few years ago. Every male member of different villages is ordered to appear in the camp, once or twice each month. During these summonses, officials humiliate them and in many cases face torture and wrath of the officials.

Earlier, in April 2020, 17 years old teenager Murad Jan was called in the army camp of the Rindak area of Mashkay. The teenager was tortured in the camp for hours and later released on the condition to reappear the next day with an Urdu language interpreter. The next day, Murad Jan collapsed and succumbed to the injuries he sustained during custody. Murad Jan is the sixth member of his family who fell victim to the military’s inhuman treatment.

Moreover, during the month of November, the State’s intelligence agencies and forces involuntarily disappeared 18 persons. Twelve incidents of extrajudicial killing were reported in which 15 people were killed, including two women, and three mutilated dead bodies were found one of which was decomposed beyond recognition.

On Nov 2, forces abducted a student Sanaullah son of Dost Mohammed from Chitkan Bazar of district Panjgur. The same day, in a village of Tambo, district Naseerabad, one Azmat Khan murdered his 18-year-old sister Khurshid Bibi and a 22-year-old man Abdul Samad in the name of honor.

In most cases, these killings have resulted in tribal disputes—leaving hundreds of people killed on both sides. Due to the negligence of the police and their incompetence to arrest and present the perpetrators before a court of law, a rise in honor killing has been recorded in recent months.

On Nov 3, three persons Fazal, Ragam and Abdul Karim were taken away by security forces during a six-day long army operation in Buleda, district Kech.

Separately, security forces whisked away Riaz Jamaldini from Nushki Bazar in front of his friends. In 2013, forces forcibly had disappeared Riaz’s younger brother Amir Jamaldini whose mutilated body was later found from a desolated area. Riaz’s family is concerned about his safety and well-being as he has not been not produced in any court and his whereabouts remain unknown.

On Nov 6, forces raided a house in Gichk area of district Panjgur, and whisked away Haroon Raheem along with his son Madad Haroon. On Nov 7, Rasheed Sardo, a shepherd, along with his son went missing from Gwarkop area of district Kech. His son was later released, but Rasheed still remains in incommunicado detention.  The same day, forces abducted two more people. Raziq was whisked away from Old Road Kalat, district Mastung, by the secret agencies, while Tariq Bicho, a resident of Mashkay, taken away from Nokjo, Mashkay, district Awaran, during a raid.

The bullet-riddled dead body of a woman was found dumped in Rehman Kahul Road, Chaman. The levies force shifted the deceased to Chaman Civil Hospital for identification and further investigation.

On Nov 8, militants of the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), an armed eparatist group, shot dead Ghulam Jan, claiming that he was a facilitator of military forces and had assisted them in several operations where dozens of local homes had been set on fire and dozens of people gone missing during these operations.

On November 13, forces disappeared Liaqat Noor Mohammad and Liaqat Safar from Askani Bazar of district Kech. Both the abductees are relatives of Ishaq Baloch who had been killed by the army in Buleda, district Kech, on September 30.

Moreover, Nadir Baloch, was once again forcibly disappeared from Dhadar, district Kachhi, a day later of his release on November 26. Earlier, he had been picked up on May 8, kept incommunicado for six months and later shifted to prison on Nov 8 from where he was released on November 25. On Nov 29, secret agents whisked away a close friend of Nadir, Yousuf son of Bangal Khan, from Dhadar, district Kachhi.

A 14-year-old boy was killed and nine others injured in a clash between local traders and security personnel on Pak-Afghan border in Chaman, Balochistan on November 30. The protest was held against security officials’ ill treatment of the traders. The security personnel used aerial firing to disperse the protesters. Ten were injured in the incident. People took them to Civil Hospital Chamman, where a 14-year boy, named Matihullah son of Khan Muhammad, succumbed to his injuries.

Human Rights Council of Balochistan (Hakkpaan) is a non-profit and non-partisan human rights group based in Balochistan and Sweden. It collects reports from Balochistan, a region Pakistan government does not allow any media and HR group to visit and report. Human rights violations in Balochistan is not a new phenomenon, but it got its worst levels after the Military coup de tat of Pakistan in 1999. Thousands of Baloch have been reported missing, hundreds killed in fake encounters and so-called kill and dump policy of the military. HRCB collects the data from Balochistan itself, through its network of volunteers and supporters, organizes and reports them to the human rights mechanisms of the world.