Balochistan: lies, lies and more lies

Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General (IG) Major-General Ubaidullah Khan is irked by a recently released 132-page report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled, ‘We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan’. Major-General Khan rejected the HRW report and said that the security forces were not responsible for the enforced disappearances in Balochistan. He further said that such a report was an attempt to discourage the law enforcement agencies from doing their job while encouraging the ‘terrorists’. The FC chief’s statement might have been laughable had it not been so tragic. The so-called ‘terrorists’ Major-General Khan is referring to are the Baloch nationalists who have only been raising their voices against unjust acts by the military and its proxies. Terming them terrorists while calling the Afghan Taliban its ‘strategic assets’ shows how warped our military’s policies are. To discredit the HRW, a highly respected and impartial human rights organisation recognised worldwide for its efforts at highlighting rights violations, is a disservice to all human rights groups. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also released a report on Balochistan a couple of months ago, pointing at the involvement of state security forces in enforced disappearances.

Major-General Ubaidullah Khan was of the view that it was important to try criminals in the courts rather than killing them. If only he believed in his own words, thousands of Baloch would not have gone missing and hundreds of bullet-riddled bodies would not have been dumped on roads every other day in Balochistan. That the Baloch are blaming the FC and spy agencies for committing genocide in Balochistan is not without reason. A military operation is going on in the province. It has only led to more frustration and despair in the country’s largest province. Separatist sentiment in Balochistan is increasing gradually as a result of state oppression. To see our military men expressing ‘concern’ at the situation in Balochistan when they themselves are responsible for creating the mess in the first place is comical. Turning a blind eye to their own mistakes is not going to serve any purpose. The only way to resolve the issue is through a political solution.

(my editorial in Daily Times)

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