Baluchistan is second Bangladesh; 2,000 missing persons families in anguish
By Ahmar Mustikhan
QUETTA, Occupied Baluchistan — Pakistan’s military is repeating the same war crimes and barbaric torture in the area-wise largest Baluchistan it perpetrated on the Bengalis in the erstwhile East Pakistan during their war of independence there in 1970-71.
Pakistan’s largest circulation Jang newspaper has reported as many as 2,000 Baluch families in Baluchistan are anguished as they have no clue about the fate of their loved ones since the time the military launched an operation under former coup leader General Pervez Musharraf.
Resistance parties in Baluchistan use the term state abduction and illegal arrests for such disappearances, the newspaper said in an exclusive report by Mohammad Ajmal.
The central secretary general of the Baluchistan National Party, Advocate Habib Jalib, said during the Musharraf regime more than 2,000 people from Baluchistan, including political activists, have gone missing after they were allegedly whisked away by law-enforcement agencies and put to inhuman torture in torture cells.
Official sources in the home ministry in Baluchistan has information about 1109 missing persons. The Home ministry sources said under instructions from the federal department of interior a special task force was formed under the deputy inspector general of the special branch of police to find out the fate of the missing persons. The local officials of the districts where the missing persons reside were then instructed to verify the details and send back to the head of the missing persons task force.
In March 2009 a special cell was formed at the Chief Minister’s House, information about which including the phone and fax numbers for the public to contact was duly advertised in local newspapers.
The aim was to have the relatives of the missing persons provide as much information as possible about their near and dear ones to enable the authorities to help with their recovery.
As a result, the chief minister’s house reportedly got information about 126 persons through fax, phone and SMS messages. The Jang report said these 126 persons were those who had already been convicted and were doing time in different jails of the province — which the Baluch call occupied territories — after being sentenced or their cases were still pending in the court system.
Meanwhile the mother of Chakar Qambrani, along with his sister and daughters, staged a hunger strike for his recovery.
The despondent mother said her son was abducted along with the the central general secretary of the Baloch Republican Party Dr. Bashir Azeem on February 6 in Quetta. After one and half months, the authorities freed Dr. Bashir Azeem but Chakar Qambrani is still missing leaving the family extremely anxious about his fate. She said her son suffers from heart, chest and digestive ailments and she received information that due to the torture he was facing his condition has further deteriorated.
The mother appealed to the United Nations and international human rights organizations to pressure the government of Pakistan to stop these illegal state abductions and if there are any charges against Chakar Qambrani then he should be tried in a court.
Shahzeb Baluch, president of the Baloch Students Organization [Azad] who was himself abducted and was missing for two and half months, recalled that on March 26 at 9 am. intelligence agency sleuths abducted him from the Masjid Road in Quetta and kept him at an army barrack that had five rooms, each with three or four inmates. He said he was kept in Room No. 4 He said Chakar Qambrani was in Room. No. 1 and Fareed Baluch was in Room No.2.
He said in his room there a 19-year-old inmate named Karam Marri, who was abducted 17 months earlier and had faced extreme torture that left him physically handicapped. Then on May 6, his abduction was termed a misunderstanding and he was ordered to be freed but it was still not clear whether Karam Marri has actually been released.
Shahzeb Baluch said inside the barrack his legs and hands were kept chained and he was blindfolded when he was taken to an other center for interrogation.
He said during the grilling the investigators tried to establish links between the BSO [Azad] and resistance groups.
He said he could not say anything about the physical appearance of the the investigators because he was kept blindfolded, but from their accent he could guess they were either Pashtuns from Peshawar or Punjabis.
According to Pakistan publisher Najam Sethi, Pashtuns form nearly 30 percent of the military and bureaucracy in Pakistan; Baluch national hero Hyrbiar Marri has said if that is the case then Pashtuns are partners in the crime against the Baluch people.
Shahzeb Baluch said his mother fell extremely ill after his disappearance and then he was freed in the town of Loralai from where he contacted his brothers and returned to his hometown of Panjgur.
Panjgur has some of the most educated people in Baluchistan and is hotbed of nationalist resistance for Baluchistan’s independence.
He said after recuperating from torture the torture he endured, he shall return to Quetta and get busy with the political struggle for the national liberation of Baluchistan.
He said at the time he was abducted in march, he was due to appear in the final examination for his law degree and he told his tormentors that if he fails to appear in his examination his academic year will be ruined, but they responded: forget the exams.
He said his father’s name is Professor Mustafa Kamal, who retired his teaching position at the Bolan Medical College some time back. Though his family hails from Panjgur they were brought up and educated in Quetta where they lived most of their lives because of his father’s job. He said he belongs to the Somalani tribe and that other members of the family were apolitical.
Advocate Habib Jalib told the Jang reporter about an incident when a youth Muzzamil Pirkani was abducted from the Baluch Colony in Quetta and later dropped at another place after severe torture. He said law-enforcement personnel had allegedly abducted Pirkani and his body has countless torture marks. He said soles of Pirkani’s feet were cut by knife to disable him from trying to escape.
In the dead of night on June 29 Pakistani intelligence sleuths abducted a family physician named Dr. Deen Mohammed Baloch after raiding his home in Ornach in Khuzdar district. The six agents put a cloth on the doctor’s mouth, bound his hands and feet and taken away to an unknown location.
Angry Baloch people blocked the national highway for eight hours against the kidnapping of their family physician, cutting off Quetta from Karachi.
Pakistan’s Medical Association leaders Dr. Mohammed Murad Mengal and Dr. Aziz Ahmed led a protest rally against the abduction. “In this country there is no law, whenever Pakistani intelligence agencies want to do such things they can kidnap people,” Mengal told the rally.
Deen Mohammed Baloch is a close relative of exiled Baluch leader Munir Mengal, who had himself faced the worst torture in Pakistan.