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Human rights situation in Balochistan worsening, says report

Paank is human rights body of Baloch National Movement (BNM)
Paank is human rights body of Baloch National Movement (BNM)

Quetta: The human rights situation in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan has significantly worsened, with at least 3 people being killed in extrajudicial manner and 90 subjected to the notorious practice of ‘enforced disappearances’ by the Pakistani forces in the month of May.

This has been stated by Paank, the human rights organization of the Baloch National Movement (BNM), in its detailed monthly report on rights situation in Balochistan.

“The May 2024 report provides insights into enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, road accidents, and false cases against victims of enforced disappearances,” said a statement issued by Paank.

According to its report, Pakistani forces and their associated death squad operatives killed three individuals — Zahid Niaz, Balach Nazir Ahmad and Yar Mohammad Jalal.

It also says that 90 people from Balochistan and Karachi were subjected to enforced disappearance by the Pakistan army in May.

While 19 victims were later released from torture cells, state institutions have not provided any explanation for their illegal arrest, detention, and torture, the statement said.

Moreover, there is no information available regarding the mental and physical health status of the victims, it said.

Giving a break-up of the cases of enforced disappearances, Paank said 22 people were picked up illegally from Kech district, 15 from Gwadar district, 9 from Awaran, 29 from Dera Bugti, 2 from Mach, 2 from Nasirabad, 2 from Khuzdar, 3 from Shaal, 2 from Dera Ghazi Khan, 2 from Nushkay, one from Panjgur, and one from Karachi.

“Pakistani forces should be held accountable judicially for all cases of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances,” Paank emphasized.

Paank has drawn attention to the fabricated cases related to enforced disappearances, stating that the Pakistan Army is framing individuals after forcibly disappearing them, causing immense suffering to the victims and their families.

“This act of injustice is causing immense suffering for the victims,” Paank remarked.

During the month of May, three individuals, including Niaz Abdullah and Bashir Abdul Ghani, who had been forcibly disappeared were arrested in fabricated cases, the report said.

They were accused of involvement in the murder of seven people in Surbandin, Gwadar, and handed over to the police despite being previously detained by state forces, it said.

Similarly, Faisal Swali was also handed over to the police on terrorism charges following his enforced disappearance.

“This practice further exacerbates the plight of enforced disappearance victims, raising serious concerns about the rule of law and the human rights situation in Balochistan,” Paank stated.

Paank reiterated the need to enhance the role of international institutions, monitor by international human rights organizations, and report on human rights abuses in Balochistan. This process could lead to improvements in these critical cases, ensuring justice for the victims and their families, it said.

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