Pakistan: Balochistan rejects claims of thousands of missing persons, links some to terror

    The Hawk
    April13/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Amid escalating tensions over alleged enforced disappearances in Balochistan, the government denies thousands of missing persons' claims, insisting on an investigation. While the ruling party proposes parliamentary intervention, protests intensify, notably regarding Naeem Rehmat's case.

    Balochistan People

    Balochistan: Amid the recent surge in cases of alleged enforced disappearances of citizens in Balochistan, the government issued a clarification, outright rejecting claims of "thousands of missing persons' cases," Geo News reported.
    The provincial government emphasized that the number of cases reported to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances was not in the thousands, adding that the commission was functional and had detected some fake cases as well.

    According to Geo News, the spokesperson said that the government put the resolution of the missing persons' issues among its top priorities. "If a family thinks that a member is missing, then it can directly contact the commission," it said.
    The government also mentioned that certain individuals listed as missing persons were discovered to be involved in a few terrorist incidents.
    Additionally, the ruling party in Balochistan, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), had previously proposed addressing the issue of enforced disappearances through a parliamentary committee, as per Geo News.

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    However, the Baloch Yakjehti Committee continues its protest against the alleged enforced disappearances of Baloch people. On Friday the committe highlighted the case of Naeem Rehmat who was forcefully disappeared on March 17, 2022, from Aman Aatoz Turbat. The committee said that despite continuous protests, including a recent demonstration on the day of Eid, aimed at securing his safe release, the administration's failure to provide a meaningful response only compounds the suffering and uncertainty for his family. The family has been protesting since the day of Eid, blocking CPEC Road in Shapuk.

    In January, the then-caretaker Balochistan information minister Jan Achakzai claimed that those who were being labelled by Baloch protesters as "missing persons" were in fact "terrorists" and got killed in Pakistan's counterstrike inside Iran.
    Pakistan responded to a violation of its sovereignty by launching strikes on terrorists' hideouts within Iran, two days after Tehran's incursion into Balochistan resulted in casualties.

    The incursion, which claimed the lives of two children and injured three girls, prompted the retaliatory action.
    He alleged that Mahrang Baloch, who was leading the protest in Islamabad against enforced disappearances of citizens, had been staging "drama" and defaming Pakistan under the guise of missing persons issue.
    Later in February, then caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar claimed that the government was facing an armed struggle in Balochistan, asserting that the armed individuals were fighting to "create a new state".
    The prime minister's statement came during his appearance before the high court in the missing Baloch students case.
    In separate statements, ex-premier Kakar also alleged that terrorists in Balochistan had been receiving funding from the Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and killing people in Balochistan.