Two Baloch youths handed 5-year prison term by ATC

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The Counter-Terrorism Department of Pakistan CTD announced in a recent media statement that the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has sentenced two Baloch youths to five years of imprisonment each on terrorism charges.

The CTD identified the two youths as Saqib Zaib alias Shehak and Farhad Sajid alias Chakar, and claimed that both of them were members of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a “pro-independence group.” The CTD said the two youths had been arrested in April 2022.

However, The Balochistan Post carried investigated the case and discovered that the two youths, Saqib Sarparra s/o Haji Nisar Sarparra and Farhad Sarparra s/o Haji Noor Ullah Sarparra, were “forcibly disappeared” by the Pakistani security forces from the latter’s house in Quetta in February 2022, two months prior to the CTD’s alleged date of arrest.

It should be noted that the Pakistani security forces raided a house in Quetta’s Faizabad area and detained Saud and Sudes Sarparra, students of 10th and 11th grade respectively. Before this, the forces had raided the house of Haji Noor Ullah Sarparra in Quetta on February 7 and detained Farhad and Saqib Sarparra. A day earlier, on February 6, the forces had detained Haroon s/o Haji Nisar Sarparra in a raid.

The detainees were kept in custody for four months before being handed over to the police. Haroon, Sudes, and Muhammad Aqib were given in the custody of the Kharan police whereas Saqib and Farhad were handed over to the Chaman police. The former three were released in June 2022.

A month later, Muhammad Aqib was once again detained by the security forces on July 20 and remains missing to this day.

The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) is notorious in Balochistan for its allegedly extrajudicial activities, like “enforced disappearances”, and fake encounters of Baloch missing persons. The CTD has killed dozens of alleged militants in so-called confrontations, which were later proved to be “fake encounters.”

Veteran activist Mama Qadeer Baloch has said that the security forces are using CTD as a shield to protect themselves from public ignominy and outrage. He said that their malicious designs have been exposed.


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