Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Over 8,000 suspects arrested in Balochistan this year

 September 16, 2015 

QUETTA: Over 8,000 suspects have been arrested in more than 1,800 operations carried out by security forces in different parts of Balochistan since the start of the current year, the provincial home ministry said on Wednesday.

In a report presenting details of the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) in the province, the Balochistan Home Ministry said that 204 suspected terrorists have been killed, 29 injured and a total of 8,326 suspects arrested in 1,863 from December 16 2014 to Sept 15 2015.

The terrorists belonged to banned militant outfits, from who over 3,000 weapons and more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition were recovered. Sources in the home ministry said that the operations based on intelligence reports.

The report further said that, under the national Action Plan, the registration of over 2,600 NGOs was also suspended in the province.

Also read: 343 terrorists killed, 370 held under NAP in Sindh

A similar report released by the Sindh provincial government yesterday said that a total of 343 terrorists were killed and 370 were arrested under the National Action Plan so far. 

More than 8,000 suspected militants arrested: Balochistan govt

September 16, 2015 

Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani on Wednesday stated that provincial law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 8,000 suspected militants after the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

“A total of 204 terrorists were killed by security forces during different operations and raids in the province,” Durrani told reporters, adding that out of the 204 terrorists killed, around 100 were high-profile terrorists.

The home secretary also stated that 1,840 intelligence-based operations (IBO) have been conducted in Balochistan after the implementation of NAP. “The situation has improved drastically in the province, and a large number of insurgents have laid down their arms and have rejoined society,” added Durrani.

Elaborating further, the provincial home secretary said that 530 insurgents have already surrendered, and more insurgents were expected to lay down their arms.

Durrani, while responding to a question stated that better border control mechanisms have been implemented to stop illegal movement on the porous Pak-Afghan border and to better control the flow of arms and narcotics from the neighbouring country.

The provincial government of Balochistan is also making efforts to implement bio-metric systems on the Chaman border crossing to better regulate legal movement between the two countries.

Security forces have intensified their actions in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan after the announcement of the National Action Plan to combat terrorism in the country.

PAKISTAN: Where are the 8,363 Balochis arrested in the last nine months?



September 23, 2015

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

The Interior Ministry of Baluchistan has recently stated that it has arrested 8363 Baloch over the span of 9 months. Whereas, the Chief Minister of Balochistan Dr. Malik Baloch has said that those arrested will be dealt in accordance with the law.

No further details pertaining to the arrested have been revealed.

The provincial interior minister told reporters at a press conference that 1,800 targeted operations were conducted in the Province between December 2014 and September 2015. The Minister attributed the rise in targeted operations to implementation of the National Action Plan.

Approximately 204 “militants” have been killed while 29 have been injured in the operations according to official statement. However, the State has remained tight lipped about who these militants were and are and which law enforcment agency has been involved in the killings and arrests. Last year several human rights organisation estimated the number of missing persons to be 8,000. The statement made by the Chief Minister corroborates this fact. 

Disappearances have come to dominate political discourse in Balochistan. However, while the search for missing persons continues, their cases have been complicated by gross discrepancies in the record. For instance, according to a 23 July 2014 report, the provincial Home Department stated that only 71 people are missing in the Province, while human rights organizations estimate that the figure is close to 8,000. 

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VFBMP), an advocacy group, insists that more than 19,000 Baloch political activists and sympathizers have been subjected to enforced disappearances over the last 13 years. VFBMP Vice-President Mama Qadir told The Express Tribune on July 23, 2014, “There are more than 19,000 people who were subjected to enforced disappearance in Baluchistan and none of them have been recovered yet. The Government has done nothing, except to release those who were detained for a brief period.” He added that his organization had submitted a detailed report to the United Nations with evidence regarding missing persons. 

Significantly, on 12 January 2015, the Pakistan Supreme Court directed the Federal Government, through Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt, to submit comprehensive data within 10 days, regarding the number of missing persons in the country.

Balochistan’s former Chief Minister Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal, has, in a statement to the Supreme Court, claimed that the current civil disturbances in Balochistan are a direct result of enforced disappearances.

Nawab Akhter Mengal of Balochistan National Party has criticized the media in strong terms during a press conference. He lamented the fact that the troubles of the Baloch people are not worth as much coverage as the cattle show on display over electronic media these days. He said that the media glosses over the trouble brewing in Balochistan and that it is deplorable that State atrocities against Baloch people are overlooked and never discussed openly.

The unbridled power and complete State impunity guaranteed to law enforcement agencies by draconian laws such as Protection of Pakistan Act and the amendments made in the Constitution have made redressal of grievance for the victims of enforced disappearances an impossible feat. Human rights and equality before law have been tossed out the window. The dumping of corpses of missing persons continues at an unprecedented rate. The kill and dump policy of Pakistani security forces continues to rise with deployment of more troops and military operations across Balochistan.

According to Voice of Baloch Missing persons (VBMP), the Pakistani security forces have started dumping the bodies of Baloch persons, previously abducted during operations, claiming that they were militants killed during battle. Whereas, VBMP have these persons listed as missing for the past several years.

Despite the arrests, it is unfortunate that the authorities have been unable to curb sectarian violence against the Hazara Community. Since the beginning of this year, the community has lost 19 members to violence. The highest number of casualties in a single day occurred on 7 June 2015 when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at five Hazara Shias in Bacha Khan Chowk area in Quetta.

Enforced disappearance and the State's ‘kill and dump policy’ has caused mistrust between the general populace of Balochistan and the Federal government, prolonging the insurgency. The State’s strategy of creating and supporting Islamist extremist groups to manage domestic political challenges has enormously aggravated the problem in Balochistan. The limited gain, in terms of a marginal reduction in indices of violence, consequently, offers little hope of a sustainable improvement in the Province.

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The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) works towards the radical rethinking and fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in order to protect and promote human rights in Asia. Established in 1984, the Hong Kong based organisation is a Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award, 2014.

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