October 2023 Report [English]

Human Rights Report – October Incidents in Balochistan:

Prepared by Paank the Human Rights Department of Baloch National Movement In the month of October in Balochistan, various incidents shed light on the persistent human rights issues, specifically concerning enforced disappearances and extrajudicial actions by state forces. The following is an account of the notable events and concerns:

Forced Disappearances:

Throughout October, reports continued to surface, accusing Pakistani security forces of committing numerous human rights violations, specifically 34 cases of unlawful and extrajudicial detainments, resulting in forced disappearances of individuals across different regions of the country. These actions
raise serious concerns regarding human rights abuses by the authorities.

Release of Formerly Disappeared Individuals:

Remarkably, in October, it was documented that 21 individuals, who were previously victims of enforced disappearances allegedly at the hands of the Pakistani military, were released and reunited with their families, marking a significant development in some of these cases.

Extrajudicial Killings:

Alarming incidents of extrajudicial killings emerged in October. State forces were reported to have staged encounters, resulting in the deaths of two individuals who had been subjected to enforced disappearances earlier. The alleged involvement of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in these extrajudicial killings added another layer of concern.

Advocacy for Missing Individuals:

The month saw persistent advocacy and protests from various human rights groups and affected families for the safe recovery and justice for the missing individuals. Notably, Shabir Baloch’s family organized a protest in Karachi, demanding the safe return of Shabir Ahmed, a student leader who had been forcibly disappeared seven years ago. His family and supporters continued their calls for justice.

Awareness Campaigns and Seminars:

On October 15, a seminar was held at the Quetta Press Club focusing on the case of Rashid Hussain Baloch, who had been missing for five years following an alleged abduction by Pakistani intelligence agencies. Intellectuals and activists joined to express solidarity and discuss the case, emphasizing the need for a resolution and public attention.

Calls for Government Action:

Human rights organizations and advocacy groups continued to press the Pakistani government for the safe recovery of all missing individuals, stressing the urgency of addressing these cases and providing relief to affected families.

Ali Asghar Bangulzai Disappearance:

Ali Asghar Bangulzai, hailing from Quetta, was reportedly forcibly disappeared by state institutions in June 2000. His son, Ghulam Farooq, addressed a press conference at the Vice for Baloch Missing Persons Camp in Quetta on October 18, 2023. He recounted the harrowing experiences of his family following his father’s disappearance. Ali Asghar Bangulzai was initially released after 14 days but was abducted once again on October 18, 2001, in an unlawful operation near Degree College Quetta on Sariab Road. Shockingly, Ali Asghar remains missing to this day.

Ghulam Farooq expressed the family’s relentless 22-year-long pursuit for justice and their continual efforts with various authorities and different governments. However, instead of justice, they encountered legal complications intended to sabotage his father’s case. Despite ongoing commissions
and recent investigations initiated on his father’s case, the family faces profound despair due to the lack of resolution and the impact on their lives.

Ghulam Farooq highlighted the profound distress his family endures, deprived of their father’s care and support, leading to a disrupted and distressed life. He appealed to human rights institutions to intervene and play a role in the safe recovery of his missing father, Ali Asghar Bangulzai.

Safar Ali Baloch’s Ten-Year Enforced Disappearance Campaign:

Additionally, on October 23, 2013, Safar Ali Baloch was reportedly forcibly disappeared from Hub Choki, an industrial town in Balochistan. On the ten-year anniversary of his disappearance, the family initiated a campaign to draw attention to his case. Shaista Baloch, who is family member of Safar Ali, emphasized the urgent need for collective efforts in addressing the grave issue of enforced disappearances and called upon humanitarian institutions to actively contribute to the safe recovery of all missing persons, including Safar Ali Baloch.

Forced Arrest and Fake FIR at Punjab University:

In Lahore, at Punjab University, a distressing incident occurred when student Fareed Baloch, while under educational pursuit, was brutally treated by plainclothes officers during a forced arrest at Gate No. 4. Pakistani authorities, in an unnecessary display of aggression, put him in a vehicle where the number plate and personal details of the culprits were shared on media platforms. In response, the Baloch Council, a representative body for Baloch students at Punjab University, staged a vehement protest. Due to the significant public outcry and social media activism, the Punjab Police, to suppress the situation, lodged a fabricated FIR against Farid Baloch at the Garden Town police station, falsely implicating him in serious drug-related charges. This sparked severe concerns as students rallied in vehement protest against these fabricated and grave accusations.

Recovery of Abdul Hameed Zehri from Enforced Disappearance:

In a positive turn, Abdul Hameed Zehri, a resident of Khuzdar district in Balochistan, who was subjected to a prolonged enforced disappearance, was successfully recovered on October 31, 2023, in Karachi, after being missing for an extensive period. His safe return was a result of his family’s peaceful protests and relentless advocacy. Despite facing severe atrocities and harsh treatment at the hands of law enforcement, the family remained steadfast in their peaceful demonstrations. Their unwavering commitment and successful advocacy eventually led to the safe recovery of Abdul Hameed, marking a significant triumph in the pursuit of justice for victims of enforced disappearances.

This compilation of events highlights the persistent challenges and violations of human rights, particularly in the context of enforced disappearances in Balochistan, warranting immediate attention and resolution from both the government and the international community. The unresolved cases
underscore the urgent need for justice and redress for the affected families.

These cases illustrate the continued struggle, anguish, and resilience of families impacted by enforced disappearances in Balochistan. The desperate appeals for justice and humanitarian support underscore the critical need for concerted efforts to address these longstanding issues and ensure the safe recovery of the missing individuals.

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