Balochistan is grappling with a surge in reported enforced disappearances as Pakistan nears its National Day. The uptick, set against intensified military operations, falls in August — a month historically marked by increased tensions in the region.
In Turbat, two young men, Zareef Baloch and Tahir Baloch, were reportedly detained in the Kolowahi market. While Tahir has been released, Zareef’s location remains unknown.
Meanwhile, in Tump’s Khairabad locality, early morning operations by Pakistani forces reportedly led to the disappearance of seven individuals. Liaqat, Sattar, Riaz, and Khalil have been identified among them, while the identities of the remaining three are yet to be confirmed.
Nighttime raids have also been reported in areas like Khuzdar and Panjgur. Levies Force official, Saeed Baloch, was allegedly detained following a raid on his home. Similarly, in Panjgur’s Chitkan, reports suggest Faqeer Jan disappeared following a late-night raid by Pakistani security forces.
In Quetta, Balochistan’s capital, Fayyaz Ali, who had previously been reported missing, has disappeared once again. His wife, Nargiz Fayyaz, confirmed that armed individuals forcefully abducted Fayyaz from their residence. His release after a previous nine-month disappearance came as a result of relentless efforts led by Nargis.
Military operations in Mazanband and Zamuran in the Kech district are reportedly on the rise. With the deployment of both aerial and ground resources by Pakistani forces, clashes have ensued. Following these confrontations, two unidentified bodies were transferred to Turbat Civil Hospital.
While Balochistan remains a hotspot of escalating tensions, the Baloch community in Karachi, Sindh’s capital, is also reportedly facing challenges. Dad Shah, originally from Gresha in Balochistan, was allegedly detained by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) officials in the early hours. His sister recounted the harrowing incident, emphasizing her brother’s dedication to his studies and the family’s move to Karachi in search of better educational opportunities.
Karachi’s Baloch-majority areas are also reportedly tense, with unexpected arrivals of large Ranger contingents. During a recent operation, a young individual, Baqir, was detained and released the following day. However, allegations of violence, especially towards women and children, during these operations have emerged.
As August progresses, the reported enforced disappearances show no sign of abating, stoking fears of a repeat of July’s distressing patterns. The Balochistan Post’s Visual Data Studio highlighted that the latter part of July recorded 34 abductions across Balochistan, and the subsequent discovery of four bodies has only deepened these concerns.
Given the longstanding tensions between Pakistan and Balochistan, the surge in disappearances and operations in the run-up to Pakistan’s National Day is a stark reminder of the region’s precarious situation.