CHAPTER II BALOCH INSURGENCY, ITS MANIFESTATION AND KILL AND DUMPPOLICY OF PAKISTAN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT “Evenif the President or Chief Justice tells us to release you, we wont. We cantorture you, or kill you, or keep you for years at our will.
It is only theArmy Chief and the (Intelligence) chief we obey.” – Pakistani Official to Bashir Azeem,the 76 year old secretary- general of the Baloch Republican Party, during hisun-acknowledged detention, April 20101. 14. Balochistanis bounded by Arabian sea towards South, Afghanistan in North, Iran in West,Punjab province of Pakistan in Northeast and Sindh province of Pakistan inEast. The area is mountainous and barren with heights ranging from 6000 to11000 feet. The Baloch plateau has an average altitude of 2000 feet. Overallregion is mosaic of barren and vast land, rugged mountains and coastal belt2.
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15. With44 percent of land mass of 347190 square kilometres, Balochistan is the largestprovince of Pakistan. Interesting irony is it being least populated accountingfor merely 4.9 percent of population of Pakistan. With a uniqueethno-linguistic origin, Baloch are spread between Pakistan, Iran andAfghanistan. Pashtuns and Brahui are two other large ethnic groups apart from Baloch.
The region is also home to Punjabis and Sindhis along with other minor groupssuch as Turkmens, Uzbecks and Sikhs. The region is distinctly dominated by fourmajor groups with Baloch occupying eastern regions, Pashtuns dominating northand east, Brahvis in the west and southern coast being Makrani dominated belt3. The Baloch have been subjected tostate-sponsored repression ever since they had expressed their demand to befree of Pakistan. There was nothing common, be it the language, or culture, orhistory, between the Baloch and the Punjabi Pakistanis. The Baloch alwaysconsider themselves to be a separate nation of people.
They were however forcedinto submission by Pakistan Army with the West, Britain and US in particular,supporting the new occupier than the people. Since then, Pakistan has beentrying, without much success, to convert Balochistan into a subsidiaryprovince, more like a supplier of minerals, gas and other natural resources toPunjab and Sindh. But the people of Balochistan have been opposing the stateproject tooth and nail. For that, they have been over the decades terrorisedthrough brutal military means.
Historicalperspect of Baloch Insurgency 16. The Colonial Era. The British annexed Balochistan toBritish India in 18844and later ceded the western part of the territory (now Sistan-o-BalochistanProvince) to Iran.
The north western part of the territory were ceded to Afghanistanwhere as part of remaining area was termed as ‘British Balochistan’5.These were divided into the Khanate of Kalat and three other principalitiesnamely Makaran, Las Bela and Kharan. Foreseeing the eventual departure ofBritish from the subcontinent, some Baloch leaders had started to lay claimsfor independence as early as in 1930s6. 17.
First Phase of Insurgency. The First Rebellion is the term given to a separatistmovement led by the younger brother of Khan of Kalat in 1948 against thePakistan government7.It was to oppose the forceful accession of The Khanate of Kalat, de facto independentprovince under British rule, on 27 Mar 1947. At the time of the Partition, these four princely states were forced tochoose between joining India or Pakistan.This first phase of Insurgency was crushed by Pakistan military with relativeease. It is interesting to notethat for 11 years, Mohd Ali Jinnah, who later became the founder of Pakistanacted as attorney for Khan of Kalat. During this time, Jinnah prepared arguments for a separate Kalat statebut later backstabbed Balochistan by threatening it and forcibly annexing it8. 18.
TheSecond Phase of Insurgency 1958-1959. The second rebellionswas sparked because of the implementation of the One Unit policy, a measurethat decreased the federal representation of tribal leaders. It is suggested tohave been instigated by then Pakistani President Major General Iskander Mirzaso that he could promulgate martial law in the country.
Pakistan was passing through a criticalperiod and control of the central government was waning. In this phase, theKhan of Kalat on instigation declared independence, dishonoured Pakistani flagand hoisted the old flag of Kalat. This provided the President Iskander Mirza, themuch needed alibi, need to quell Baloch uprising and he promulgated martial law across the whole ofPakistan, dismissed central and provincial governments, banned politicalparties, abrogated the constitution, dissolved assemblies and appointed GeneralMohammed Ayub Khan, Chief of Pakistan Army as the chief martialadministrator. The Nawab Akbar KhanBugti, then Interior Minister, attempted negotiation failed and PresidentIskandar Mirza ordered arrest of the Khan of Kalat on 06 Oct 1958. Thisprovoked Balochis and rebellion against Pakistan started under the leadershipof Nouroz Khan, head of Zarakzai tribes of Balochistan.
The rebellion ended inhis arrest, subsequent death in Hyderabd jail and five of his family membersalso being hanged to death. However laterYar Khan was released and his title restored in 19629. 19. The Third Phase of Insurgency 1963-1969.
The third phase of Baloch freedom struggle isa result of resistance to the Pakistani government plan to construct militarybases in these key conflict areas in 1963-1969. The opposition was coupled withdemand for royalty for the mineral resources including the gas extracted fromthe Sui gas field in Balochistan and sent to other provinces10. The chief of Marri tribe, Sher Muhammad BiraniMarri, spearheaded the fierce guerrilla warfare against the Pakistanigovernment supported by several other tribal heads including the Mengal andBugti. This rebellion spanning from 1963 to 1969 covered an area of about72000km.
This phase saw a steep curve of violence with Balochis acts ofattacking military installations, convoys and resultant killing of severalsecurity personnel along with other acts as bombing of railway tracks anddamage to government property. Thesewere met with equal or higher degree of retaliation by Pakistan Army withvengeance. They killed and arrested a large number of Balochis, raped theirwomen and burnt their houses, which further fuelled the insurgency. Ultimately in 1969 a ceasefire was agreedupon and the One Unit policy was abolished11. 20. The Fourth Phase of Insurgency 1973-1977.
1973marked the commencement of the fourth phase of insurgency. President ZulfiqarAli Bhutto abolished the provincial governments and imposed martial law, citingtreason and despite the ceasefire of1969, Pakistani forces continued the attrocities against the Balochis. Bhutto promulgated Martial Law inNWFP(North West Frontier Province) and Balochistan. The three major reasonscited for Bhuttos imposition of martial Law were, firstly the loss ofBangladesh and the perceived defiance of Ataullah Mengal led government ofBalochistan, secondly the capture of large cache of arms and ammunition fromthe Iraqi embassy and thirdly the perceived collusion between USSR and Iraq todismember Pakistan and Iran12.
BalochistanPeople’s Liberation Front(BPLF) came in to existence under Marri tribe head, NawabKhair Bakhsh Marri and was joined by fighters from Marri and Mengal tribes.BPLF commence a guerrilla war against the federal government and resultant killingof more than 400 Pakistani soldiers. 21. Owingto hesitation of risking to chase real guerrilla fighters who were hiding in tohills, Pakistani army targeted andkilled thousands of civilians, destroyed several houses, raped women andperpetrated diverse kinds of atrocities on Balochis.
Iran too assisted Pakistani troops in thfight against BPLF so as to prevent spread of the same to the Sistan province.This phase of insurgency continued till 197713. During this period the exile of many Balochtribal leaders led to a political vacuum in Balochistan.
22. The Fifth Phase of Insurgency 2005 onwards. The reconcialtion efforts by Nawab Akbar Bugtiand Mir Baloch Marri in form of 15 pointagenda demanding more autonomy, more royalty for the mineral resources of theprovince and stoppage of construction of military bases in the state were ignoredby Pakistani government. Near simultaneous targeting of Frontier Corps MajorGeneral Shujaat Zamir and a Brigadier by separatist led to onslaught ofmassacre of Balochis by the Punjabi dominated Pakistani army. Furious with theact, they used lethal weaponry against the Balochis, in which 79 year old NawabAkbar Bugti was killed in an special operation on orders of President GeneralParvez Musharraf. Though in the ensuing violence approximately 60 Pakistanisoldiers and 7 officers were killed as well. Pakistani forces abducted Baloch National Movement president GhulamMohammed baloch and two other prominent leaders of BNM in April 2009 and aftertorturing, killed them, and threw their bodies in the market to show that therebels would be eliminated ruthlessly. The Pakistani forces resorted to mayhem but could not break the resolveof Balochis14.
23. Thiswas also the time when UNHRC representative, John Solecki was abducted fromQuetta. Afterwards a new wave of violence touched urban areas of province,where in the insurgents started attacking developmental activities and hatredagainst non baloch rsidents of province took the shape of target killings.
MirSuleiman Dawood Khan of Kalat on 12 August declared himself the ruler of anindependent state of Balochistan which included Sistan and the Balochistan provinceof Iran. Several secessionist groups of Balochistanincluding Nawabzada Brahdagh Bugti, declared their allegiance to the Khan ofKalat. The international media have commented on the barbarity committed byPakistan forces in Balochistan. General Abdul Waheed Kakar, former chief ofPakistan army, criticised the acts of Pakistani forces in Balochistan by callingit a “Crime against Pakistan”.
More than 15000 civilians were massacred byPakistani defence forces in Balochistan from 1973 to 200915. 24. Thesenior leadership of the Pakistan Army has so far been employing a heavy-handedapproach16to put down rumblings of discontent in Balochistan and the Northern Areas inthe past. It has failed to understand that artillery barrages and helicopterand air force bombings of civilian villages and towns are inherentlycounter-productive. The field commanders must understand that success will comeonly when the army begins to close in with the militants and clears them fromkey areas systematically while ensuring that sufficient combat units are leftbehind to prevent the militants from taking over the cleared territory again. Simultaneouslythe civil administration needs to execute development projects and run schools,hospitals, postal services and banks.
And, army or paramilitary columns must bephysically deployed to ensure rear area security and keep the arteries open forsupplies and reinforcements. All this is, of course, infinitely more difficultthan lobbing 500 kg bombs from the air combined with artillery barrages. 25. The Kill and Dump Policy.
The Kill and dump policy by Pakistanforces presents itself in form of an urgent humanitarian crisis in theBalochistan province of Pakistan. This crisis is underreported, un-investigatedand ongoing. The media is trying to focus the issue but no results from thePakistan government side are witnessed. Throughout Balochistan, hundreds ofethnic Baloch have been abducted by Pakistani Security forces and killed whilein custody, with their bodies dumped shortly thereafter in what has been widelyreferred to as the ‘Kill and Dump’ policy. The bodies of the slain bear marksof brutal torture and mutilation. These actions are undertaken in the name ofcounter insurgency, yet they represent a grave violation of human rights andjudicial due process.
26. Theroots to Kill and Dump policy lies in the forced disappearance in Pakistanwhich allegedly originated during the military dictator General PervezMusharraf (1999 to 2008)17.The practice continued during subsequent governments. This so called ‘Kill and Dump’ policy focuses on thedetainment of Baloch activists, holding them incommunicado for days or evenweeks during which they are subjected to torture, interrogation and execution.Upon killing the men in custody, authorities dump the bodies of their victims,sending a brutal message to the Baloch community. The extrajudicial detainmentand execution allows for authorities to escape all forms of oversight, legalstandards, or accountability.
Spirals of Violence27. 2008 The clear signs of Kill and Dump policy became evident in formof tortured dead bodies which began surfacing in Balochistan in 2008. Human Rights Organization launchednumerous protested against atrocities and “Voice for Baloch MissingPerson18” group conducted a long march from Quetta toIslamabad over the issue. In 2008 alone, an estimated 1102 people were disappeared from the region19. There were several reports oftorture with increasing number of bodies being found onroadsides having been shot in the head.
In 2008, Pakistan’s interior minister, RehmanMalik, admitted at least 1,100 victims. 28. 2010 Thekilling of Siddique Eido, in 2010, marked the shocking example of the targetedkilling of human rights activists20.
Eido was a human rights coordinator for the NGO, Human Rights Commission ofPakistan (HRCP). On December 21st, 2010 Eido and Yousaf Nazar were travellingback from a court appearance in the city of Gwadar, accompanied by fourpolicemen. According to reports, bothmen were abducted by men in state security uniforms and were taken away in vehiclessimilar to those used by the state security forces. The bodies of both men werediscovered on April 28th, bearing marks of torture. In a statement released byHRCP after the recovery of Eido’s body, HRCP pointed out that the condoning ofcriminality by the government amounted to complicity in Eido’s murder. 29. 2011.
Pakistan faced difficult situation throughout the year 2011.Devastated by floods, insurgency, terrorist attacks and the government’s urgeto become a super power in Asia and the assumption of near-total control offoreign and security policy by a military that operated with complete impunityworsened the matters. Religious minorities faced unprecedented insecurity andpersecution. Security continued to deteriorate in 2011, with militant andsectarian groups carrying out suicide bombings and targeted killings across thecountry.
The Taliban and affiliated groups targeted civilians and publicspaces, including marketplaces and religious processions. Ongoing rightsconcerns include the breakdown of law enforcement in the face of terrorattacks, a dramatic increase in killings across the south-western province ofBalochistan, continuing torture and ill-treatment of criminal suspects, andunresolved enforced disappearances of terrorism suspects and opponents of themilitary. Abuses by Pakistani police, including extrajudicial killings, alsocontinued to be reported throughout.
30. InJanuary 2011 Balochistan’s home minister, Mir Zafrullah Zehri21,however stated in provincial legislatorsthat only 55 persons were considered missing and provided no explanation for these figures,which are hugely at variance and inconsistent with those of credible sources. 31. 2012.
In 2012statement to the Supreme Court, the Pakistani government denied allegations ofthe use of secret operations, or death squads in Balochistan. According toMajor General Obaid Ullah Khan Niazi, commander of the 46,000 paramilitaryFrontier Corps stationed in Balochistan, civilian killing were carried out bymilitants impersonating his soldiers. “Militants are using FC uniforms tokidnap people and malign our good name.22″However, Balochistan’s former chief minister Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal, in astatement to the Supreme Court, claimed the current civil disturbances inBalochistan were a direct result of enforced disappearances. 32. 2013.
The Kill and Dump policy was still prominent BBC news which wasbroadcasted regarding the same issue during the period of elections in Pakistanin May 2013. The channel reported that many youth political workers wentmissing prior to elections and post elections. The Balochistan NationalParty-Mengal in its one of statements on June 2, 2013 mentions that during theinterim government 279 Baluch have been disappeared and 50 dead bodies foundhowever channel reported only a dozen. It should be noted that kill and dump ofBaluch missing persons increased when the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)government announced Aghaaz-Haqooq-e-Baluchistan Package (the Beginning ofRights of Baluchistan) in November 2009 to deal with long-running Baluchpolitical, economic, and human rights abuse grievances. 33. BradAdams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, cited the killing as an example ofPakistan’s failure to investigate the murder of dissidents, saying; “Thegovernment’s failure to open a credible investigation into the killing ofsomeone as prominent as Saba Dashtiyari only adds fuel to the fire of anger andsuspicion in the province.23” 34.
Governmentand NGO statistics on the number of persons who disappeared in Balochistancontinued to diverge. NGOs compiled a list of 3,356 Baloch whom security agentsallegedly abducted or killed while in custody. The VBMP claimed the totalnumber of persons who have disappeared could be above 19,000. Meanwhile, thegovernment reported only 194 families had come forward with detailedinformation on their missing relatives as of July.
According to the Interior Ministry’sHome Department, law enforcement authorities had recovered more than 612 bodiesin Balochistan since 2010, many belonging to missing Baloch political workers.The VBMP claimed to have records of 455 tortured bodies dumped in Balochistanduring the year and of 435 missing persons. Official Home Ministry ofBalochistan figures indicated only 164 dead bodies had been recovered inBalochistan during the year .
35. Thusextrajudicial and targeted killings, disappearances, torture, lack of rule oflaw (including lack of due process, poor implementation and enforcement oflaws, and frequent mob violence and vigilante justice), and sectarian violence24together emerged as cause of most serious human right problem. According to the International Voice for BalochMissing Persons, 18,000 Baloch had gone missing by January 2014. Of these,2,000 were killed between 2001 and 2013. 36. 2015.
Zeenat Shahzadi25,a 24-year-old female journalist became the target of Kill and Dump policy. shewas investigating a disappearance case and was allegedly abducted by some armedpersonnel on 19 August 2015 and went missing. As of 2017, she remained missing.Her disappearance caused her younger brother to commit suicide.
The relatives of missingpersons in Balochistan say that 463 individuals went forciblymissing around the province in 2015. Dead bodies continued to be found in different regionsof Balochistan. Though the provincialgovernment claimed that the ratio has decreased. According to a Voicefor Missing Baloch Persons, 463 people were forcibly disappeared inBalochistan, out of whom 157 were tortured to death, in 201526. Some of the prominent activists that had gonemissing include:(a) MunirMengal(b) ImdadBaloch(c) AllahNazar Baloch(d) ZakirMajeed Baloch(e) GhulamMohammed Baloch (found dead in 2009,Turbat killings)(f) JaleelReki Baloch (abducted in 2009, killed three years later)(g) ZahidBaloch 37. Thevictims families gave horrifying descriptions of tortured suffered by theabductees. Some bodies were found without their heart, lungs and intestines.Some had their eyeballs removed.
In one case, the body was reportedly given tomedical students for training. 38. 2016. Facts continued to startle and could no longer be suppressed. InAugust 2016, for instance, the DIG Investigations and Crime, Balochistaninformed a committee of the Senate that 1,040 people were killed in Balochistanin the last two years27. Sincesuch data rarely comes from official sources, the numbers cited by the seniorpolice official could be taken as a reliable reference point. The Balochpeople, however, contest the official figures and argue that the number ofabductions and killings have been quite high in the recent past, especiallyafter the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project picked up.
1 Human rights watch Jul 2011 report.2 Syed Ramsey, Balochistan in Quest of Freedom, Alpha Editions p 28.3 Syed Ramsey,Balochistan in Quest of Freedom, Alpha Editions p 29.4 Ibid p 625 Balochistan, the Foreign Policy Centre, p 14(available at www.
fpc.org.uk)6 The revival of Insurgency in Balochistan,Strategic Analysis Apr-Jun 2005, p 2527 Jai KumarVerma, The Independence Movement of Balochistan, AAKROSH, Volume 20 Number 74Jan 2017 p468 Qandeel Siddique , PAKISTANI OR BALOCH, APRECURSORY STUDY OF BALOCH SEPARATIST MOVEMENT IN PAKISTAN, Centre forInternational Studies and Analysis report No 20, 2014 p119 JaiKumar Verma, The Independence Movement of Balochistan, AAKROSH, Volume 20,Number 74, Jan 2017 p47.
10 Ibid11 Ibid p 4812 Balochistan, The ForeignPolicy Centre, p 28 ( available atwww.fpc.org.uk)13 Balochistan, The Foreign Policy Centre, p 28 ( available at www.fpc.org.
uk)14 Jai Kumar Verma, The Independence Movement ofBalochistan, AAKROSH, Volume 20, Number 74, Jan 2017 p49.15 JaiKumar Verma, The Independence Movement of Balochistan, AAKROSH, Volume 20,Number 74, Jan 2017 p49.16 Gurmeet Kanwal, PAKISTAN ARMY A STATE WITH IN A STATE, CLAWSjournal, summer 2012 p 3717 Human Rights WatchArticle, ” We can torture, kill or keep you for years” dt 28 July 2011.
18 The Diplomat article”Balochistan Missing Persons” by Kiran Nazish dt 06 Jan 2014.19 The New India Expressarticle “10 Things you must know about the Balochistan conflict” dt 28 Aug2016.20 Statement of HRCPmission to Balochistan , dt 07 May 2011.21 Human Rights WatchArticle, ” Pakistan: security forces ‘disappear’ opponents in Balochistan” dt28 July 201122 The Guardian article “Pakistans secret dirty war” dt 29 Mar 201123 Bauchistan House article “The Veiled Warfare of Pakistan: Kill and Dump Policy in Balochistan” dt10 Oct 201324 US State DepartmentHuman Rights report on Pakistan 2014 25 The Hindu, “Zeenat Shahzadi, missing PakistaniJournalist, fund after two years”. October 21 2017.26 The Nation (Pakistan) article “157 killed, 463Missing Persons in Balochistan last year: VBMP” dt 02 Jan 2016.27 Article “How ISI isturning Balochistan in to a Mass Grave” by Farooq Ganderbali.