Balochistan: Enforced Disappearances in January 2024

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Late Sajid Hussain, the Baloch journalist who was found dead in Uppsala, Sweden, in March 2020, once wrote: “The dead don’t haunt me as much as the missing do”. He met the same fate that he dreaded for others – he went ‘missing’ for a month before his body was recovered from a river. His family was lucky in a way – they got closure after a month of silence. Hundreds of Baloch families would give anything for that – they have been living in limbo for years and decades, waiting for any news of their loved ones who vanished without a trace. They have missed countless celebrations – Eids, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and more. Elderly women have died in despair, longing for their sons and husbands to return; mothers have cried their eyes out, yearning for their young boys’ smiles; daughters and sisters have spent their youth in protest camps, hoping that their fathers and brothers would be spared.

A few families have had some luck – some have welcomed back their loved ones, at least dead, if not alive. But thousands of other families are still unlucky. They continue to suffer every day and every night, praying for their loved ones to come back, alive or dead. They face, what they call, the collective punishment of a state that wants to silence, terrorize, and oppress them. “Enforced disappearances are its weapon of choice.” The mainstream media, either out of fear or complicity, does not report on these atrocities or gives a distorted picture of the reality. But the silence around enforced disappearances has to be shattered, and The Balochistan Post is leading the way.

In this report, we document all the individuals who were ‘forcibly disappeared’, allegedly by the Pakistani forces, during the month of January. We also acknowledge the fortunate individuals who were released in the past 30 days and reunited with their families, and we also pay tribute to the unfortunate families who found the dead bodies of their loved ones, finally getting the closure that was cruelly denied to them for so long.

The Unveiled Truth

The Balochistan Post diligently recorded several cases of enforced disappearances that transpired in various regions of Balochistan during this critical period. The gathered accounts underscored the severity of the situation, with a distressing total of 32 individuals vanishing under mysterious circumstances, allegedly at the hands of the Pakistani security forces. However, a ray of hope emerged for some fortunate families as 11 of the disappeared individuals were able to return to their homes safely, ushering in a wave of relief. Sadly, at least 5 dead bodies were also discovered during January, adding to the grief and anger of the Baloch people.

The Most Affected Areas

The enforced disappearances documented in this report were reported in the following areas, in descending order of their frequency:

  • Sui, Dera Bugti: 9
  • Tump, Kech: 5
  • Turbat, Kech: 3
  • Buleda, Kech: 2
  • Gishkor, Sibi: 2
  • Jhal Magsi: 2
  • Hoshab, Kech: 2
  • Gomazi, Kech: 1
  • Gwadar: 1
  • Quetta: 1
  • Saami, Kech: 1
  • Kharan: 1
  • Dera Allah Yar: 1
  • Pasni, Gwadar: 1

Details of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

  • Ghulam Rasool: Deatined from Tump on January 2. Still missing
  • Uzair Mehrdil: Detained from Tump on January 2. Still missing
  • Balach Rauf: Detained from Gwadar on January 5. Still missing
  • Jassim Mohammed: Detained from Tump on January 8. Still missing
  • Sohail Mussa: Detained from Gomazi on January 2. Still missing
  • Imran Sawali: Detained from Quetta on January 3. Still missing
  • Hassan Asif: Detained from Tump on January 8. Still missing
  • Ismaeel Mohammed: Detained from Tump on January 14. Still missing
  • Shahaab-uddin: Detained from Turbat on January 13. Still missing
  • Rasool Bakhsh: Detained from Gishkor on January 16. Still missing
  • Akbar Nawab: Detained for the second time in Jhal Magsi on January 24. Still missing
  • Qasim Baloch: Detained from Turbat on January 25. Later released
  • Kareem Bakhsh: Detained from Gishkor on January 16. Still missing
  • Sala Bugti: Detained from Dera Allah Yar on January 19. Still missing
  • Jameel Imam Baksh: Detained from Jhal Magsi on January 24. Still missing
  • Hafeezullah Hameed: Detained from Buleda on January 25. Still missing
  • Ismaeel Shadad: Detained from Buleda on January 25. Still missing
  • Aslam Kareem: Detained from Hoshab on January 26. Later released
  • Ghous Bakhsh Bugti: Detained from Sui on January 28. Still missing
  • Bahadur Chakar: Detained from Tijaban on January 27. Later released
  • Hammal Qadir: Detained from Hoshab on January 26. Later released
  • Raheem Bugti: Detained from Sui on January 28. Still missing
  • Attaullah Bugti: Detained from Sui on January 28. Still missing
  • Unidentified men: Three unknown individuals detained from Sui on January 28. Status unconfirmed
  • Shah Hussain Bugti: Detained from Sui on January 28. Later released
  • Akhter Yalanzai: Detained from Kharan on January 31. Still Missing
  • Faisal Bugti: Detained from Sui on January 28. Later released
  • Wahid Bakhsh: Detained from Saami on January 30. Still missing
  • Mehboob Baloch: Detained from Pasni Highway on January 31. Still missing

The five dead bodies were reported in Quetta, Panjgur, Mastung, and Barkhan.

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