Shabbir Baloch’s disappearance, a crime against humanity – Kachkol Ali Advocate

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The unexplained disappearances of thousands of Baloch innocent persons, including Shabbir Ahmad who was arrested on 4 April 2016, constitute the crimes against humanity. Pakistan has been committing international heinous crimes in terms of summary executions, involuntary disappearances and tortures. Despite national and international prohibition, in Pakistan, unfortunately, these abominable and unconscionable practices are being carried out by security forces. Prima facia Pakistani terrorism is deeply rooted in relatively permanent structures of society that allow terror to be institutionalized. The TLP of Khadam Razvi and Jamaat ud Dawa of Hafiz Saeed and others, reveal that these extremist organizations were created for dissemination of terrorism hallowed in state’s doctrine of “national security”.

Now we must understand why the ideology of terror or the doctrine of national security is being applied against Baloch Liberation Movement? And also whether application of this doctrine or ideology of terror is compatible in accordance with the international standards? 

First of all we should know the characteristics of a terrorist state. Torture, enforced disappearances and summary executions are inherent to any terrorist state. These elements of atrocities will be part and parcel of its security strategy, as we are observing these are effective instruments and widely being used as political tools to control the Baloch dissent. The main objective of such practices to maintain and strengthen the status quo of colonization.

Now let’s discuss the second part of the question, whether Pakistan is ignoring the international standards in this regard or not? The promotion and protection of human dignity is a customary norm of international law as well as of domestic law of every civilized state.

Pakistan is usually exercising its right of de facto derogation without making a de jure declaration, under Article 232 proclamation of emergency on account of war, internal disturbance etc, due to which under Article 233, the fundamental rights will be suspended. Dilemma is that in Pakistan without proper declaration of emergency the fundamental of its citizens are suspended especially in Balochistan, where since a decade the fundamental right are being held in abeyance. Derogation also does not comply with its obligations under the article 4 of international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Pakistan has not declared emergency under Article 4 of the Covenant, as well as without following the procedural and substantial requirements of the right of derogation and without complying with the well-recognized norms of international law, especially peremptory norms of the general international law. Additionally the atrocities committed by Pakistani security forces, which I discussed in the first paragraph of this paper, are heinous crimes that cannot be derogated and are incompatible with the Covenant. 

The upshot of my paper is that the international states community, UN and its sister organizations are appealed to ask Pakistan to release the Baloch innocent persons and women, in particular Shabbir Ahmad, from the torture cell of security forces.

Kachkol Ali Advocate is human rights lawyer and ex-opposition leader and minister of Balochistan legislative assembly. He is currently affiliated with BNM.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Balochistan Post or any of its editors.