Balochistan: Pakistan’s Military Forces Kill 13 People While Around 21,000 Are Missing
Pakistani security forces claim to have killed thirteen Baloch people during a military operation in Gebon, Turbat Balochistan on Monday [13 April 2015]. According to the security forces, these people were involved in the killing of 20 workers in Turbat. Baloch political organisations and relatives of the missing Baloch have rejected these allegations and claim that the victims were previously abducted and killed in a staged encounter. According to witnesses, the forces harassed women and children during the operation and burned peoples’ houses. The victims of the Gebon operation include a physically disabled man and four men who had been abducted earlier, including a teacher and an activist of the Baloch Republican Party. A month ago [March 2015], their families presented evidence of their abduction, proving that the media and military were lying about the operation. Baloch activist Mama Qadeer claims that around 21,000 people have gone missing in Balochistan to date.
Around 21,000 people have gone missing in Balochistan, claims Baloch activist Mama Qadeer, adding that they had received 6,000 mutilated bodies to date. “Why are political parties silent on the issue of Balochistan?”
Qadeer was speaking at a press conference held by the Baloch student organisation Azad and Baloch Voice of Missing Persons (BVMP) at Karachi Press Club on Thursday.
“The 13 people killed by the Frontier Corps (FC) in Turbat on Monday were not militants but nationalists, who were kidnapped by some agencies some time ago,” he alleged. “The FC claims that they killed militants but these were extrajudicial killings.”
About the killings of 20 labourers, including Sindhis, in Turbat on Saturday, he said that the Baloch Liberation Army was not involved in the incident. “The agencies killed them in order to create differences between the Baloch and Sindhi people.”
Photo Courtesy of: The Express Tribune
Pakistani security forces have conducted a military operation in Gebon area of Turbat Balochistan on Monday and claimed to have killed at least thirteen people who they allege were involved in an attack and killing of 20 FWO workers in Turbat.
On the other hand the Baloch political organisations and relatives of Baloch missing person have rejected the government’s claims and said that victims were previously abducted persons and were killed in a staged firefight.
According to details the military sieged several houses in Gebon region of Turbat Balochistan a day after it had announced to launch a ‘grand operation’ in Makuran, Balochistan.
According to eye-witnesses reports the forces harassed women and children during the operation and looted poor peoples’ basic necessities before burning their home.
Military and FC continue to harass and warn people to vacate the area as they plan to conduct further operations.
Pakistani media have reported that Frontier Corps have killed at least 13 ‘terrorist’ including a commander of a Baloch militant organisation.
However, local people and Baloch political organisation have turned military’s claims as lies and an attempt to hide their defeat in Balochistan through baseless allegation.
The victims of Gebon operation include a physically disable man named Hayat Bewas Baloch who, according sources, was dragged out of his house and shot dead while in his wheel chair. The other four men among those military claimed were killed in firefight, were actually previously abducted Baloch including a teacher of private English language centre.
The bodies brought in Turbat hospital, were identified as that of Yahya Baloch, Asghar Baloch, Rasool Jan Baloch and Deen Mohmmad Bugti. All these men were previously missing and were registered in the enforced-disappeared persons list with Voice for Baloch Missing Persons.
Among the above victims Rasool Jan was a student of BA at Atta Shad Degree College and he was also teaching at DELTA English language center.
The BSO-Azad in a statement said that Rasool Jan was a peaceful political activists and the General Secretary of their Turbat zone. He was abducted on 7, January, 2014 from Singaani Sar area in Balochistan.
A family member of Rasool Jan said on conditions of anonymity said that when Rasool Jan was abducted, they contacted the Chief Minister of Balochistan Dr. Malik Baloch to inform him about the abduction and requested him to inquire about his whereabouts. The family member said Dr. Malik Baloch confirmed Rasool Jan’s abduction and said that he [Malik] could not save him because he was allegedly a ‘terrorist’ and in the custody of Frontier Corps.
Deem Mohammad Bugti was also reportedly a teacher and was abducted from Dasht area near Quetta whereas Asghar Baloch was an activist of Baloch Republican Party. He was abducted on 2nd December 2013 Gokdaan area of Turbat. Yahya Baloch was abducted on 22nd January, 2014 from Zero point Gawadar by Pakistani security forces.
There has been no reports about the bodies of eight other persons that Pakistani forces claimed to have killed during Gebon operation. Local analysts says it is possible that Pakistan forces have abducted another eight innocent people who will be killed later in similar staged encounter and portrayed as ‘terrorists’ by Pakistani media.
It is pertinent to mention that it is not the first time that Pakistan military has killed previously abducted Baloch activists in staged battles because on 10 August 2013 bodies of nine previously abducted Baloch were dumped in Mach area of district Bolan in Balochistan. The Pakistan military and the state sponsored media had claimed that the victims were killed during a gun-battle and termed them as terrorists.
The relatives of the deceased had said that they received calls from unknown numbers informing them that their relatives have been killed which clearly shows that the military would not have been able to recognise all the victims immediately and locate their relatives to call them to let them know about death of their loved ones.
The families had also presented evidence of the men’s abduction month earlier proving that the state media and military was lying and that the men were killed in a pre-planned encounter.
Baloch experts who have been observing and writing about human rights violations in Balochistan for many years believe that Pakistan is now considering to change its ‘kill and dump’ policy to ‘staged encounters’ to kill the abducted Baloch activists. It is a change of tactic a plan to justify the killing of Baloch missing persons in fake gun battles.