Thursday, 12 August 2010

Six Baloch disappeared persons, aged between 19 to 32, killed for demanding independence

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Occupied Balochistan,QUETTA:Bodies of six Baloch victims of enforced disappearances all had brutal torture marks, according to an organization related to serving victims of enforced disappearances.

Nasrullah Baloch, president of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, called a government commission that is holding meetings on enforced disappearances in Quetta an eyewash. "The commission is helpless before the secret services," he added. "They are trying to hide the facts."

He said all six killed wanted independence of Balochistan. "They belonged to a coalition called the Baloch National Front," Nasrullah Baloch said on phone from Quetta. The front consists of political organizations, Balochistan Republican Party, Baloch National Movement, Anjuman Ittehad Marri, and related groups that are demanding independence for Texas-sized Balochistan.

"There were marks of drilling in the head. Some had their tooth and nails pulled out," Baloch added. He said all of them were kidnapped either by the Frontier Corp or secret service agents in plainclothes in the presence of eyewitnesses

He identified the victims as Majeed Langov, 19, Ashfaq Ahmed, 23, Farooq Mengal, 24, Nazeer Ahmed, 25, Faiz Mohammad Bangulzai, 26, and Bahar Khan Bangulzai, 32.

Nasrullah Baloch said there are as many as 1101missing persons, the term used for freedom and civil rights activists who are victims of enforced disappearances. These activists have been abducted by Pakistan's Military Intelligence and Inter Services Intelligence.

"Not a day goes without someone being abducted by the state secret services," Nasrullah Baloch said.

Nasrullah Baloch spoke on the mobile phone from outside the Quetta Press Club where families of 13 victims of enforced disappearances were squatting in three protest tents to demand the return of their loved ones.

The victims are Zakir Majeed, Sangat Sana, Jalil Reki, Deen Mohammad Baloch, Ghaffar Langov, Mir Wadood Raisani, Maqbool Zaffar Baloch, Chakar Marri, Majeed Qambrani, Mujeeb Baloch, Abdul Nasior Marri, Altaf Bugti and Asghar Bangulzai,

Nasrullah Baloch, 30, is a nephew of Bangulzai.

The killings of the six during the last two weeks enraged one of the main resistance leaders, London-based Hyrbyair Marri, who asked the Baloch to show unity to fight their own battles in stead of relying on international powers to come to their rescue. In an interview with Basque journalist Karlos Zurutuza, Marri said there is a single point to negotiate with Islamabad: withdrawal of Pakistan troops from Balochistan.

In its 2009 report, the U.N. Working Group on Involuntary and Enforced Disappearances based in Geneva identified barely three enforced disappearances -- Ehsan Arjemandi, Zakir Majeed and Dr. Deen Moahmmad Baloch -- while the numbers were at least ten times higher.

Nasrullah Baloch said paucity of resources was a major stumbling block in bringing the matter to the notice of the U.N. Working Group. "It is for this reason we are asking them to please set up a monitoring cell in Balochistan," he added.

The victims include women and children, a Quetta politician told the Union of Catholic Asian News.

“Among the missing from Balochistan province are the names of 168 children and 148 women. Media, columnists and political parties are silent on these abductions by secret agencies of state,” Abdul Hakeem Lehri, a leader of the Baloch Republican Party told UCA News.

“We are not terrorists, our struggle is of a political nature and we demand the protection of our rights. Torture cells have claimed countless lives, and we don’t know whether our people are alive or dead,” he added.

Nasrullah Baloch said the reason he calls the commission an eyewash is that none of the members visited the victim families who suffered in the recent military operation in Balochistan.

Balochistan, which forms more than 40 percent of the land mass of Pakistan but less than eight percent of the population, was forcibly occupied by Pakistan in March 1948 and has repeatedly seen uprisings against this injustice.

The latest military operation to crush the Baloch uprising began more than five years ago and is still continuing.

As the state violence against Baloch freedom activists increase, there seems no solution in sight

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