June 2018: Many villages forcefully evacuated, 79 disappeared, 24 killed in Balochistan

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Human rights situation in Balochistan has worsened in the month of June, as the disputed general elections are approaching.

The government is bracing to hold elections on 25 July 2018, the lingering conflict between the central government and Baloch separatists militants escalates, the latter have announced to do everything in the power to fail the electoral process as they termed it a “tool of exploitation”. However, the security forces, on the other hand, have expanded and intensified military operations all across Balochistan. Many houses were burnt and inhabitants are forced to resettle near military camps. Moreover, many school buildings are occupied by forces and have turned into military barracks.

Forced evacuation of villages:

The military has escalated search operations in many areas, forcing people to vacate their villages and settle around the larger military camps.

On June 4, 2018, military burnt down settlements of inhabitants of 8 villages in District Awaran. Forces shifted all the people to the Ahori military camp where they were tortured. After three days of illegal detention, the detainees are released on a condition to resettle near the camp

“Sixty years old F (the name is not revealed for security reasons) along with his 15 members family is a victim of such forced IDPs in the region. He is a farmer, owning an agriculture land with more than a hundred date trees and more than two hundred trees of mangoes. He and his family worked on his land to earn a living. He is also a sheep farmer, owning dozens of goats.

He, his wife, sons and daughters, sons- and daughters-in-law, and grandchildren lived in the town near the military’s camp. They all were displaced in recent evacuations occurred in Jhau area of district Awaran in June 2018.

50 years old M (name held) opened his eyes with the sound of military boots at around 04:00 local time. All the men in his family were tortured until dawn. When they were lined up in the center of the village along with other men of the village, all of them were once again kicked and punched and beaten with sticks, insulted and abused. Finally, the military announced its ultimatum to leave their houses at the earliest and to shift M’s village in district Awaran. More than a dozen families are living a miserable life in the new place without any help.

Many such families are being kept in the illegal detention of local armed tribal leaders aligned with the military. The persons are forced to do domestic chores in return for bread. They don’t have access to medical assistance if required. A five-month pregnant woman, Naz Gul, died in such an illegal detention center in May 2018. She was denied any medical help and died to pregnancy-related complications.

 

Enforced Disappearance:

79 persons have been abducted and forcibly disappeared by security forces in June.

Forcibly disappeared persons include 60 years old Mohammad Hussain Mahmud, a resident of Shulig, Dasht district Kech. Mr. Mahmud works in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. He was on his annual vacation when abducted on 20th June by personnel of intelligence agencies and security forces from a house in Wendar area of district Lasbela, Balochistan. He was picked up from his house, in front of all his family members. He is missing since then.

Four persons of the same village, Essa Karar, Tariq Pir Mohammad, Noor Mohammad Miskan and Samir Bashir were picked up by the security forces from the Shapuk area of Turbat, district Kech on 25th June.

The case of Safar, forcibly disappeared by the military in 2013, came into light when his wife, Ganjal died on 2nd June 2018. Safar, 24, was abducted by security forces from his house in Hub town of district Lasbela on 24 October 2013, in front of the entire family, after six months into their marriage. Miss Ganjal tried to resist the army personnel, but they shove her away with the butt of their gun.

The couple was residents of Labaach, Awaran of Balochistan. Their families left the village and shifted to Hub town, as there were continuous military operations in the area.

Miss Ganjal knocked on every door to get some new of her husband. She gradually became a patient of anxiety, hypertension after feeling helpless.

The doctors knew her mental condition but could not find a cure. She suffered from an illness nearly all relatives of enforced disappeared persons suffer. Ganjal had her last anxiety attack on 2 June 2018 without knowing where Safar was.

Killings:

Twenty-four persons were killed during the month. Three persons were killed by the security forces during a battle between the military and an armed nationalist group, BLA (Baloch Liberation Army) in Kohlu area of Balochistan on 5 June 2018. Another person, Aslam Khair Mohammad was killed during another battle between the military and the armed men in Kharan area of Balochistan on 26 June 2018.

Fifteen persons were killed in different incidents of firing by unknown gunmen during the month. The nationalist groups often blame the military for organizing different criminal groups to shoot and kill the sympathizers of nationalists in the region.

The body of Haidar Faqir Mohammad was found on 2 June 2018, who was missing since 26 May, 2018. An armed nationalist group UBA (United Baloch Army) claimed responsibility for the abduction and killing of Mr. Mohammad.

Another armed nationalist group, BLF (Balochistan Liberation Front) claimed responsibility for the killing of Mr. Mulla Qasim who was target killed on 13 June and Mr. Gul Mohammad Ali, target killed on 17 June. Both the persons were residents of Jhao, district Awaran, Balochistan.

Baloch Republican Army (BRA), another armed nationalist group claimed responsibility for target killing of Mr. Waheed Ibrahem, killed on 20 June, 2018 in district Kech Balochistan, while the killing of another person, Noor Bakhsh Yousuf of Khuzdar Balochistan was claimed by Baloch Warna Fighters, a new name in the armed groups operating in Balochistan. Yousuf was target-killed in Khuzdar on 21 June 2018.

More than 300,000 sq km land of Balochistan has become a battleground for Pakistan military, Baloch nationalists and more than a dozen armed groups including ISIS, Taliban, and many other religious groups. The civilian population is suffering most in the situation.

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