24 forced disappearances, two extrajudicial killings in fake encounters. PAANK March Report

The Baloch National Movement’s (BNM) Human Rights Department, PAANK, has released a detailed report on the human rights situation in Balochistan in March 2024.

The report highlights forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, protests against forced disappearances in Kech, Gwadar, Jhao, Sorab, and Mastung, as well as extrajudicial killings of individuals in Karachi by the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies.

The report condemns severe human rights violations in Balochistan by Pakistani forces and clandestine agencies.

The PAANK report indicates a disturbing increase in forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings by the Pakistani military in Balochistan. During March, 24 cases of forced disappearances were reported from various regions of Balochistan, while 21 forcibly disappeared individuals were released from torture cells during the month. Additionally, two individuals were extrajudicially killed in fake encounters in Karachi by Pakistani forces during the same month.

The report further states that forced disappearances in Balochistan have instilled a constant fear and suffering within Baloch society, with protests against forced disappearances held in Kech, Gwadar, Jhao, Sorab, and Mastung. Despite the protests and international statements, the plight of the Baloch people remains largely ignored. The Pakistani military continues to target individuals striving for the betterment of their community.

Forced disappearances are the Pakistani military’s sole weapon against Baloch sentiment, perceived as the only way to suppress Baloch nationalist sentiments.

Despite significant protests by the Baloch community over the years, this strategy has persisted, with educated classes and students being prime targets.

The report highlights instances where people were compelled to take to the streets against forced disappearances in various parts of Balochistan, including prolonged protests in Surab against Abdul Razaq’s forced disappearance. Similarly, relatives of Zakir, a resident of Pasni, blocked the highway in protest against his forced disappearance by security forces. In Turbat, central city of Kech district, the relatives of Shaib Ahmed and Balach staged a protest by blocking the road near Dakki Bazaar. On March 8, medical students protested the non-recovery of Saraj Khudadad in Turbat on the Turbat-Sagi highway.In Karachi’s Baloch-populated areas, young men, including Zaman Baloch, Noor Mohammad, and Shoaib Ali, were extrajudicially killed in a fake encounter near Sango Lane on August 15 and 17, 2023. Similarly, on March 27, 2024, two young men, Zaman Baloch and Shoaib Ali, were killed in a fake encounter near Nadren Bai Pass in Manghopir by Sindh Police and security agencies.

The PAANK team spoke with their relatives, who revealed that the police had visited their homes a week before Eid al-Fitr and assured them of their safe return before Eid, but unfortunately, their bodies were discovered riddled with bullets.

It is important to note that incidents reported on social media only reveal a fraction of forced disappearances and illegal detentions, highlighting the urgent need for in-depth research and scientific observations into the plight of Baloch youth. Despite being vibrant with life and hope, Baloch youth are being subjected to forced disappearances, leading to their confinement in torture cells for days, months, and even years. Even upon release, they are mentally traumatized, with the Pakistani military and its clandestine agencies keeping a close eye on their activities, forcing them to either become involuntary exiles or become part of activities against the Baloch community within Balochistan.

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