A disturbing official report suggests that that nearly a thousand bullet-ridden corpses have been recovered from various parts of Balochistan in the past six years, raising questions about security and safety in Pakistan’s largest province, a Pakistani daily has reported.
The News, quoting official reports, said that more than 51 percent mutilated bodies have been identified as being that of ethnic Baloch. According to official figures, 22 percent dead bodies belonged to Pashtuns while the rest of the bullet-ridden corpses either remained unidentified or belong to Punjabis, Afghan refugees or non-Muslims. The figures prepared by senior officials assigned to swiftly execute the National Action Plan (NAP), showed that more than 940 dead bodies were recovered from various districts of Balochistan, whereas Quetta remained the worst-hit district with 346 dead bodies recovered since 2010.
Maintaining that the confidential data is exclusively available with Geo News (ASKKS Programme) and The News, the report suggests that 112 persons were still declared missing in the province. Apart from all these human rights violations in the province, the official figures further stated that over 658 innocent people lost their lives in sectarian incidents, where a total of 1, 837 were killed either in target killings or other disputes after 2011 in the province. During this period, over 3,470 people were injured in terror or sectarian related incidents. Reports suggest that the security forces, with the help of intelligence agencies and operators of the newly established Intelligence Fusion Cell (IFC) during this period in the province, had recovered over 498 dead bodies of Baloch which already lags behind other provinces in terms of over nine key social indicators. Though around 159 dead bodies of Pashtuns are said to have been recovered from various parts of the province, but the security forces have failed to identify 175 bullet-ridden corpses, as their faces were completely burnt and spoiled. The police have also recovered around 108 dead bodies, where some of them were identified as Afghan refugees and Punjabis. According to the reports, Kalat is said to be second largest district after Quetta where 268 dead bodies were recovered by law enforcement agencies. In terms of rights violence, in 2011, 203 dead bodies were recovered, 129 in 2015, 165 in 2014, 168 in 2013, 166 in 2012, 102 in 2010 and 17 bullet-ridden bodies were recovered this year.
The reports also revealed that soon after the 2014 Peshawar school massacre, over 2,654 intelligence based operations were conducted by law enforcement agencies and more than 335 criminals were killed and 73 were injured in these operations. According to the data, in the last eighteen months, over 13,362 criminals have been arrested. The law enforcement agencies are said to have recovered 4,154 illegal weapons and 248,327 rounds of ammunition from the criminals. Ever since the NAP started, the Intelligence Fusion Cell is said to have taken the lead over police and Levies and have arrested 7, 597 criminals, killed 288 terrorists and recovered 242,105 rounds of ammunition.
However, the recent killings and recovery of dead bodies in Balochistan, Home Minister of the province Sarfraz Bugti asserted that there has been significant drop down in violence. “Balochistan witnessed a significant drop down in violence — this momentum will go on by grace of Allah,” he said. He also maintained, “We will not let Baloch separatists and other militants to flex their muscles yet again.” With the Baloch people already raising their voices against the atrocities and human rights violations by Pakistan against them, the issue today is known to everyone. Former Senator Sana Baloch, commented that Balochistan is facing a political crisis and needs a well-sequenced roadmap to undo the damage and reverse the cycle of violence. He also pointed out that, “a combination of economic collapse, Talibanisation, sectarian menace, abductions for ransom, near-to-collapsed health and education infrastructures, corruption and brutally mismanaged governance have brought the province to the verge of a Somalia-like situation where the ordinary citizen begs state-backed criminals, gangs and mafias for safety and security.” The Baloch people across the globe are holding protests with an objective to highlight state atrocities on Baloch civilians across Balochistan.
The protestors have even thanked India, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the supporting them in their cause. India on Wednesday launched a scathing counter attack against Pakistan by raising human rights violations it perpetrates in Balochistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). India also took aim at human rights violations by Pakistan’s politico-military establishment across the country, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Giving a befitting reply to Pakistan for alleging human rights violations in India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement said that Islamabad is characterised by authoritarianism, absence of democratic norms and widespread human rights violations across the country including Balochistan.