Baloch “pro-independence” groups and human rights activists have slammed the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) for what they called “false claims” of killing four Baloch fighters in Balochistan’s Nasirabad. They claim the four alleged Baloch fighters were Baloch missing persons who were killed at point-blank range in cold blood.
CTD claimed in a recent statement that it had killed Baloch “pro-independence” fighters in an armed confrontation in Nasirabad. The security forces had been killed in a retaliatory fire when they opened fire on the CTD vehicle.
The CTD claimed that the four fighters were members of the Baloch Republican Guard, a “pro-independence” group. The security forces said that they had recovered three hand grenades, a remote-controlled device, weapons and explosives from the fighters.
Responding to the CTD’s claims, the Baloch Republican Guard said that these claims were false and baseless propaganda. The group said the CTD has now resorted to killing innocent Baloch civilians and framing them as militants.
BRG said it is proud of its fighters who laid down their lives in service of their homeland. The group said that when its fighters are killed, their “martyrdom” is respected and celebrated and they are laid to rest with honour and dignity. The group said that it would never conceal the “martyrdom” of its fighters, no matter the circumstances.
The BRG said that the four men killed by the CTD were Baloch missing persons.
The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a human rights group advocating for the safe release of Baloch missing persons, identified two of the four slain men as Akbar and Jesuf, both brothers and residents of Dera Murad Jamali. VBMP said the two men were picked up from their hometown in July this year.
VBMP Vice-Chairman and veteran human rights activist Mama Qadeer Baloch also slammed the CTD for putting the names of Baloch missing persons in its Red Book. Mama Qadeer Baloch said that many of the people listed in CTD’s Red Book have been missing for years.
Mama Qadeer Baloch cited the examples of Jan Muhammad s/o Abdul Rehman, who was picked from Quetta in July 2015, and Nouroz s/o Haji Khan, who was picked from Mastung in February 2016. He said that these and numerous others were picked up by the security forces, and now the CTD has labelled them as “fugitives.” He said that considering CTD’s chequered history of “fake encounters”, the safety of Baloch’s missing persons is at the stake.
Baloch nationalist outfits and armed outfits accuse the Counter-Terrorism Department of rounding up Baloch missing persons and shooting them dead at point-blank range. In August this year, the CTD claimed it had killed ten Baloch armed fighters in a confrontation in Ziarat. It was later revealed that the deceased were Baloch missing persons who were picked up from different areas of Balochistan by the Pakistani security forces.
The CTD has made numerous such claims which have been repudiated by human rights groups and investigative journalists.