Mirages And Illusions Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
A ‘political government’ is too lofty a word for the set-up that is subservient to the wishes of the army and FC and does not even have the spine to condemn the very recent killing of seven Bugtis
Dr Abdul Malik claims his government is developing a ‘Balochistan Strategy Paper’ to outline political and economic problems and suggest remedies. If nothing else, it will certainly devote a special chapter to methods for creating smokescreens and pretexts for the continuing ‘dirty war’ against the Baloch, which has already claimed more than 700 victims in the last three years. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) mission, headed by Asma Jehangir, recently visited Balochistan and as if to thumb their nose at HRCP, the security forces massacred Bugtis near Sui. Asma Jehangir talking to the press said, “While the HRCP was in Balochistan, seven young men were picked up from Mathh area of Dera Bugti by the FC, and subsequently summarily executed. Reportedly, their mothers were callously told to take a good look at the faces of their sons, as that would be their last opportunity to do so.” She also said: “The security forces and the intelligence agencies will hurt the democratic process and further alienate people from the state if they continue with their oppressive policies. Law and order is dismal. Citizens are living in perpetual fear. They have no security of life and indignity at the hands of the security forces is routine.” Regarding sectarian killings, she said: “Sectarian militants operate with impunity.”
The HRCP mission rightly believes that the security forces and the intelligence agencies hurt the democratic process and further alienate people but they overlooked another aspect that a Daily Times editorial (June 28, 2013) articulated very succinctly. It said, “The burning down of the Ziarat Residency, where Mohammad Ali Jinnah spent his final days, received nationwide attention and condemnation, with some people demanding that steps be taken to bring the culprits to justice and to rebuild the Residency. What about bringing to book those who have tortured, killed and dumped Baloch citizens and have made many more simply vanish? What about rebuilding the entire province of Balochistan by ensuring that such crimes against humanity do not occur?” Expression of selective outrage is literally outrageous.
The HRCP mission’s wish list includes the law enforcement and intelligence agencies functioning within their stipulated parameters because they feel that “Targeted killings, the issue of missing persons and violation of fundamental human rights have badly damaged the peace of Balochistan and made it difficult for the people to live here peacefully.” The mission has also asked the Sarmachars (insurgents) to trust the incumbent political government giving them specific time for the resolution of issues.
The human rights abuses of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies have repeatedly been exposed by the HRCP and Human Rights Watch (HRW) but to no avail. The HRCP’s report, “Blinkered slide into chaos” or HRW’s well documented report, “We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years” on enforced disappearances by the security forces in Balochistan were rejected as a ‘pack of lies’ by the army, Frontier Corps and the government. This HRCP mission report too will be dismissed similarly. The United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) was largely ignored during its September 2012 visit because of the uncomfortable questions the delegates would ask. Expecting the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to metamorphose into angels at the exhortation of human rights bodies is wishing for utopia.