In recent days, various districts of Balochistan have witnessed a surge in reported cases of enforced disappearances and military operations, heightening concerns over the region’s human rights situation. This escalation appears to be part of a disturbing trend, inciting protests and calls for investigations and intervention both domestically and internationally.
In Dera Bugti, Pakistani forces have reportedly detained and subsequently disappeared five individuals during the ongoing military operation, including two employees of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL). These individuals, who are identified as members of the Chandarzai sub-tribe of the Bugti tribe, are residents of the ZainKoh area.
Similarly, in Harnai district, an individual named Sobdhar, who is known to be a landowner, was allegedly taken into custody and disappeared by Pakistani forces and members of secret agencies while shopping in the market.
In addition, in the district of Awaran, Rasool Bakhsh was reportedly taken into custody by Pakistani forces while working in his fields. Bakhsh’s family had reportedly been displaced during a 2015 operation carried out by Pakistani forces, during which several civilians were allegedly killed, and dozens went missing.
Furthermore, in the coastal city of Gwadar, there have been reports of the disappearance of an individual named Kamalan, who was allegedly taken into custody by Pakistani forces on September 1st and has not been seen publicly since.
These recent incidents have sparked a series of protests both domestically and abroad. In London, the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) staged a protest outside the British Parliament, vociferously condemning the ongoing military operations and enforced disappearances in various regions of Balochistan, with particular emphasis on the troubling developments in Dera Bugti.
During the protest, spokesperson for the BRP alleged that the Pakistani military had forcibly disappeared twenty-five people in recent days, and accused them of large-scale lootings and forced displacements in the region. The BRP leaders have urged international human rights organizations and the British government to closely monitor the escalating situation in Balochistan.
Concurrently, the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) has been staging a continuous protest outside the Quetta Press Club, which recently marked its 5173rd day. The organization is seeking action against the alleged enforced disappearances and killings in Balochistan. The VBMP’s Vice Chairman, Mama Qadeer Baloch, emphasized the scale of the issue, claiming that over 65,000 Baloch individuals have disappeared, with 20,000 being found dead, bearing signs of mutilation.
Amid these developments, activists and concerned parties are urging the international community and human rights organizations to closely scrutinize the unfolding situation in Balochistan. They call for an impartial investigation into the alleged enforced disappearances and a comprehensive assessment of the broader human rights conditions in the region, urging consideration for appropriate interventions based on these evaluations.