Saira Baloch asked us to publish the following text to draw attention to the human rights situation in Baluchistan, Pakistan. Local security forces disappear people and allegedly torture them, a trial does not exist for them. Cases like these, which are not reported in the Western media, often persist for a long time because there is no international pressure on the Pakistani government and army. Antikrieg gives Saira the opportunity to address our readers. We thank Chakar Ahmed for bringing this case to our attention.
The accuracy of the information cannot be verified in every detail, therefore no responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information.
My name is Saira Baloch. I am the sister of the missing Asif Baloch and the cousin of Rasheed Baloch. My brother Asif Baloch, son of Muhammad Panah, and my cousin Rasheed Baloch, son of Abdul Razzaq, were forcibly abducted along with their ten companions by the Frontier Corps (FC) and intelligence agency from Zangi Nawar, Nushki [in Pakistan; editor's note] on 31 August 2018.¹ Following their enforced disappearance, the FC regularly posted photos of them on their social media site Facebook and in the newspapers. The pictures clearly showed that they are in a governmental torture cell and are being tortured along with friends. The FC itself has acknowledged that my brother and other friends are in their custody. It's been three years since that day, and we don't know where and how our brother and cousin is. All we know is that they are in the custody of government forces.
Enforced disappearances by Pakistani security forces are extremely common in Balochistan. However, all the people who are victims of enforced disappearances are said to be involved in suspicious activities, but never it has been proved in a court of law by any legal procedure. They are abducted, tortured and their mutilated bodies are dumped in cities or by roadsides. However, the reality is that it is a mass killing in Balochistan. We lived as ordinary people and never imagined that one day this fire would break out in our yard. We did not want to engage in political or human rights activities that would cause us to fear that we would be abducted like the other Baloch one day. There are many picnic spots in Balochistan where people go for picnics with their friends and enjoy it. My brothers also went for picnics with their friends but did they know that enjoying one would one day will cost them dearly and they would end up in torture cells just like thousands of other Baloch people? Recently, three of their friends, Abdul Rabb Baloch, Sami Baloch and Bilal Baloch, who were forcibly disappeared with them, were released. Their recovery had lit a candle of hope in our hearts, but this candle of hope was soon extinguished, as we have not seen our brother and cousin released yet. My parents are elderly and carrying the burden on their shoulders, as my brother was the sole carer and looked after them. From the day of his enforced disappearance to the present day, my parents have been waiting and weeping for their son to return. The fear of their son being a victim of daily torture is extremely painful and they fear that his fate is like that of the other thousands of Baloch who have been abducted and tortured, their mutilated bodies dumped somewhere in the end.
Incidents such as daily enforced disappearance, inhumane treatment of abductees and brutal violence have further weakened them. These thoughts dominate their minds, making them think for each moment that their son is innocent and he and other sons should not be punished for crimes they have not committed; they should not be adorned with desolation like mutilated corpses, they should not be included in the list of other permanently missing persons. Their helplessness is striking. Thousands of such painful thoughts are swirling in my parents minds. Most of them are questions – but they are not getting any answers, so their worries never end. After all: What did my parents do to deserve this mental punishment? What did the young children of my brother do wrong? They are longing to meet them. They are longing for their fathers, and we have nothing hopeful we can tell them. What right do these institutions have to collectively punish their subjects? Shouldn't they be held accountable for this unconstitutional behaviour? Don't they deserve to be punished for committing this immoral crime? They are the military establishment of this country, so will they never be told anything? We are citizens of the state of Pakistan, we claim to have full legal protection, but it is also a fact that the same state institution which should protect us is responsible for our sorrow, pain, grief and has imposed this disaster on us. The Pakistani intelligence agencies kept us in the dark about any information about the abduction of my brother and his friends to this day. We knocked on many doors and tried to approach every possible authority we could think of for the safe recovery of our brother and cousin. We appealed to the so-called Sardar Akhtar Mengal [a politician from Belochistan who is currently a member of the lower house of Pakistani parliament; editor's note] for help but to no avail. And even today, like other affected families, helpless eyes are waiting for justice. But the question is, where will justice come from?
The institutions have been set up to administer justice to the people, the courts where established so people are given the hope of justice without any discrimination, the law is supposed to apply equally to every section of this country. But in reality, that's not the case. These are all nominal, only on paper they are just and free of discrimination. Yes! These are all nominal, otherwise how is it possible that thousands of affected families take to the streets every two days to protest, they march and shout and call for justice; and despite so much shouting, these nominal institutions that should bring justice can't be reached. Can't they focus on themselves and correct the unjustice they bring about themselves? Unfortunately, the Pakistani institutions and establishment have never cared for the Baloch people and for Balochistan, but we hope the United Nations and other civilized countries might raise their voices against the on-going human right violations and we hope to see thousands of our loved ones free.
Notes:  Please also note these social media posts: https://www.facebook.com/100026059848276/posts/793839094828078/?d=n
Map of Balochistan/Pakistan: Created with the help of https://mapchart.net/.
Photos: Provided by Saira Baloch.