Balochistan unrest: HRCP holds rally against target killings

QUETTA: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (Balochistan chapter) held a demonstration in Quetta to protest against the recovery of bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons, increasing incidents of target killings and kidnapping for ransom.

The HRCP took out the procession from Jinnah Road and marched through Shahr-e-Iqbal, Mezan Chowk and Court Road, and held a protest in front of the Quetta Press Club. The protesters chanted slogans against the government and law enforcement agencies for their failure to maintain peace and harmony in the region.

Addressing the crowd, former chairman of the Balochistan chapter, Zahoor Shahwani said that the law and order situation in Balochistan is deteriorating each day. “People from minority communities and human rights activists are not safe in the province,” he said. Shahwani added that it is high time for the government to take necessary steps to maintain peace in the volatile region otherwise the situation will go out of control and turn into a civil war.

He said that despite the presence of paramilitary troops in different districts, the crime rate is increasing and people are being whisked away in front of security officials.

The protestors questioned the performance of government functionaries and said that they  have failed to book a single culprit involved in these heinous crime. They also criticised the Frontier Corps for humiliating people during checking at public places.

The commission demanded that the government take immediate and concrete steps to maintain peace in Balochistan. Protesters also urged for the early recovery of missing persons and a high-level probe on the recovery of decomposed bodies.

On the same day, four more bullet-riddled bodies of missing Balochs were found separately in Mastung.

Two bodies were found near Killi Qambrani area within the limits of Shalkot police station and shifted to the Bolan Medical College Complex. “Both victims were shot in the head and their hands tied with a rope,” hospital sources said. The doctors found letters from their pockets in which the names and caste of the dead were written. They have been identified as Zubair and Tariq.

Police recovered two more bodies from Dasht area of Mastung district and took them for a post-mortem. They were identified as Shadin Marri and Subat Marri. “All four victims were shot in the head,” hospital administration said.

Family members accused security forces of killing one of the missing persons, Zubair, during illegal detention.

“All four victims were missing Balochs and had been picked up by security forces,” Nasarullah Baloch, Chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons told The Express Tribune.

Zubair and Tariq went missing some 20 days ago from Quetta while Subat and Shadin Marri were listed as missing for the past six months, he added.

“As many as 55 missing persons have been found dead during the past sixth months, which raises the question on the performance of the Human Rights Commission and judiciary,” he said, adding that the identity of eight decomposed bodies could not be ascertained so far.

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