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'Missing persons must be recovered for peace in Balochistan'

25 September, 2013

QUETTA: Members of political parties and civil society have expressed concerns over extra-judicial detention, enforced disappearances of people and recovery of mutilated bodies in Balochistan.

Speaking at a session 'The role of democratic political parties and civil society in curbing extra-judicial killings', they said that during the past few years as many as 700 people had been subjected to extra-judicial killing and their mutilated bodies had been thrown in barren places. They said that ideal of peace and prosperity cannot be achieved in Balochistan as long as a single youth is in the illegal custody of state functionaries. Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) had organised the session at Quetta Press Club.

VBMP Chairman Nasarullah Baloch alleged that state institutions whisk away the Baloch youngsters and throw their mutilated bodies in barren places, adding that state institutions have continued the "Baloch genocide notwithstanding clear stipulations in the constitution that citizens cannot be deprived of their liberty and life".

"This is what the international law says that nobody could be deprived of his liberty and whisked away forcibly," he said and added that VBMP is a non-political party which has been protesting over the emergence of mutilated bodies and enforced disappearances for the last four years.

"We have knocked the door of every forum for justice, for the recovery of our beloved ones and the Supreme Court has repeatedly issued orders regarding missing persons but these orders have always been cast aside," Nasarullah Baloch said and added that neither the missing persons are being brought on scene nor any action is being taken against the personnel of security forces involved in the cases of missing persons.

He said that the issue of the missing persons is highly sensitive and, therefore, "we think that unless the issue of missing persons is resolved, the Balochistan issue will linger on". He said that responsibility rested on the shoulders of all political and democratic parties, members of civil society and media to play their effective role for the recovery of missing persons and take out their family members out of mental agony.

He said that as many as 700 bodies have been found so far and the number of missing persons is in thousands. However, he added, a complete documented proof of 2,600 such people has been prepared on the organisational level. "Not only have we completed their documentary proofs but have also contacted Supreme Court for their recovery," he said.

In his telephonic address to the media on the occasion, the leader of Baloch National Front, Dr Manan, said that he condemned extra-judicial killing of Baloch political activists and their enforced disappearances, adding that "occupying forces wanted to block the way of Baloch towards independence but such tactics cannot deter the Baloch from their struggle to national liberty".

The member of Pakistan Human Rights Commission, Shams Mandokhail, expressed his concerns over extra-judicial arrests and killings, and said that it had been their stance since day one that arresting people in this manner and throwing their bodies is the worst violation of human rights and if this practice is not abandoned, it would yield worst results.

He said that they have formed a fact-finding mission for the recovery of missing persons, which has visited far-flung areas of Balochistan and met families. He added that during the current Supreme Court hearing, Zahoor Shahwani had lodged a petition regarding the missing persons in 2007 and former HRCP chairperson Asma Jahingir had appeared before the court in person.

He said that if missing persons are guilty of any crime, they should be tried in court of law.


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