Pakistani army abducts dozens, burns down villages in Kolwah Balochistan

Shawkat  Teláhó and Nur Hán Bashir, residents of Mádag village of district Kech, went to Kolwah and Dhandar to buy food for their families but did not return even after three days. They bought their ration from Kolwah and Dhandar, their former villages and left for their new village, Mádag on 15 April.

Their new village is called Mádagay Kalát. Most of village’s previous population had moved out. It was evacuated in the past due to military operations and the people then went on to live a miserable life as Internally Displaced Persons in different parts of Sindh and Balochistan. They have just recently returned due to the threat of Covid-19. It’s safer in their isolated mountainous villages with 8 to 20 families in huts, meters and kilometers away from each other.

The region has been under heavy military operations since the mid 2010s. During an operation, in August 2016, the whole area was kept under siege for more than a month. The mountainous regions were shelled by helicopters with all exits and entries blocked. Many houses and settlements turned to ashes. And then the people were forced to move out of the region. Families left their houses and wandered from Awaran of Balochistan to Jhao and then to the  Lasbella region, which is bordering Sindh.

Shawkat and Nur Han could only reach from Kolhwa and Dhandar to a nearest livable place. So, they settled in Madag village. It was already evacuated when the families reached and so was it peaceful of military operations as well.

Even though these IDPs never had a life of peace in their new places as security forces continued abducting the youth and many of them were later found dead, they lived in the new places until the global crisis of Covid-19. They felt the virus may not spread much in their villages as much as it will spread in cities and towns. Little did they know their arrival to their ancestral villages would take them back to the time and they would be immediately forced to leave their home once again.

On 15 April, the security forces put under siege the Bidrang, Nag, Kaldan, and Kadd villages of district Kech and blocked all the entry and exit points. According to details, Badal Yar Mohammad, a teacher, was abducted from his home in Bidrang. In Nag, the forces turned the only public school into a military check post and burned down several houses in Kaldan, Kadd and Nag villages.

Moreover, Kaleedi, Pul Mek and Seetok villages of Keelkor in Panjgur district were also cordoned off where Azeem Baloch was taken into custody from Kaleedi and moved to an unknown location.

On the same day in Malar of district Awaran Pindok Sanjar and his three sons, Jan Mohammad Pindok, Maqsood Pindok and Khudadad Pindok, and another man Mohammad Jan were illegally picked up. Whereas from Teertej of district Awaran Jaffar Mayar, Noor Bakhsh Ahmed, Murad Jan Aziz, Abbas Aziz, Ashraf Murad Bakhsh, Charshambay Murad Bakhsh and Pullain were abducted.

On 15 April, personnel of the Frontier Corps burnt down the houses of 80 years old Razai in Bidrang Kolwah, whisking him away along with two daughters and grandchildren, including a 9 months old baby girl. No one has heard of them since then.

On 18 April, the FC burnt down houses of Ganj Bakhsh Balach, Dilpul Balach, Lewar Balach, Naguman Doli, Somaar Jan Mohammad, Kacho Zabro, Assa Basham, Khan Mohammad Zabro and Zadbag Basham in Balor area of Kolwah, whisking away Abdul Razzaq Ali Bakhsh, Sudheer Ali Bakhsh and Rasheed Murad, a teacher.

On 16 April, the FC took away Dil Murad Qadir Bakhsh, Mahmood Dad Mohammad, Shah Dost and Dad Bakhsh from Kasht Kolwah, Dr. Noroz Aram, Pervaiz Aram, Sajjad Mustafa, Kursheed Mustafa, Nasir Qadir Bakhsh, Aslam Qadir Baksh and Sipahan Fazal from Choten Keelkor. Pervaiz Aram, Kursheed Mustafa and Sipahan were tortured and released next day. Others whereabouts are still unknown.

The recent massive operation in the time of the Corona pandemic has much deeper consequences on the overall situation for humanity itself. The Pakistani government should have been more worried about providing drinking water and basic health facilities to the people of Balochistan rather than pushing the people towards endless hatred and armed conflict.

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.