The human rights department of the Baloch National Movement (BNM), Paank, has released its July 2023 report, highlighting an alarming increase in human rights violations in Balochistan.
The report documents that Pakistani forces forcibly disappeared 57 individuals during July, marking it as the year’s most tumultuous month. Furthermore, seven individuals were killed, and 22 who were previously reported as missing were released, with many showing clear signs of torture. However, the official explanation for their detentions remains undisclosed.
The district of Dera Bugti has been particularly affected, with 15 enforced disappearances. The report sheds light on military operations which have seen homes ransacked and indiscriminate mortar attacks on civilians. Such actions have led to widespread chaos and destruction in the area.
Shafiq Mengal’s activities in Wadh, District Khuzdar, have come under close scrutiny. Paank’s report links Mengal with state-sponsored terror activities, contributing to the surge in rights violations.
The report also draws attention to grave allegations of human rights violations, notably child abuse by FC personnel in Hazara Town Quetta. The report draws parallels with similar allegations against the Pakistani military in places like Bangladesh, Haiti, and Balochistan, raising questions about the broader international response or lack thereof.
The report also criticizes established tribal systems in areas such as Khuzdar. Paank urges Baloch political and tribal leaders to reassess traditional loyalties and confront human rights violations head-on, emphasizing the necessity to hold individuals, such as Shafiq Mengal, accountable.
In the context of the ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, the report underscores the paramount importance for invested companies to respect and uphold the rights of the Baloch populace. The report cites instances where local populations were forcibly evicted or disappeared, linking these actions to international investments in the region.
Paank further appeals to countries, notably Iran, to formally recognize Baloch refugees, drawing attention to the significant challenges, especially for children, in the absence of formal status.
In conclusion, Paank anticipates a spike in human rights violations in the lead-up to Pakistan’s forthcoming elections. The report raises concerns about the potential manipulation of voter participation through the tactic of forced disappearances.