Balochistan killings

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Others taking notice too

It is understandable on the part of the Foreign Office to convey Pakistan’s concerns over the open hearing on Balochistan convened by the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. It would not serve the US if the Congress is seen to be supportive of any possible move aimed at the Balkanisation of Pakistan. It would in fact further strengthen the view that foreign countries are interfering in the restive province.

Concern about the forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings continues to mount inside Pakistan also. The upsurge in the forced disappearances led HRCP to collect evidence which indicated the involvement of agencies in the disappearances. In November 2009, the Supreme Court started hearing the disappearance cases, but in March 2010 these cases were transferred to a newly created judicial commission. What happened subsequently was the appearance of tortured dead bodies of Baloch activists who had mysteriously disappeared earlier. With the ghastly killing of Baloch MPA Mir Bakhtiar Domki’s wife and daughter in Karachi the issue has landed in the Parliament and the media with an unprecedented force. On Tuesday, the matter came under discussion in National Assembly where charged speakers from various parties condemned the killings and called for immediate probe. The SC ordered Sindh IG to arrest those behind the heinous act in four days. Calling for a detailed debate on the Balochistan situation, MNA Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch castigated the Assembly for ignoring the issue. On Wednesday, the matter caused an uproar in the Senate where members from all parties condemned it in the strongest possible terms. Later, the entire house staged a token walk out against the killings. At a talk show on a popular private TV channel, the host said the DG FC in Balochistan had disdainfully turned down the request to present his point on view on the issue.

The attitude of burying the head in the sand will lead to serious consequences. It is not enough on the part of the agencies to deny their involvement. But at the same time, interference of foreign countries in our internal affairs cannot be tolerated.