By Sajjad Shaukat
Each year, August 30 is celebrated as International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, also known as International Day of the Disappeared. It was officially declared by the UN General Assembly in December 2010.
An enforced disappearance is a form of human rights violation. It occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a political organization or state. Victims of enforced disappearance are imprisoned at places unknown to their relatives and are placed outside the protection of law.
Nowadays, enforced disappearance has become a global problem, which is not restricted to a particular region. In many countries, it is used as a strategy to repress political opponents during internal conflicts.
On this very day, member states of the UNO, international organizations, NGOs and concerned individuals are encourage to organize and participate in the events aimed at drawing attention to the fate of imprisoned individuals.
But case of Pakistan’s province of Balochsitan is quite different. Every year, 30th August is observed by the Baloch Sub Nationalists (BSNs) and externally backed separatist elements to pollute the minds of the patriot people of the Baluchistan against the federation of Pakistan by propagating against country’s armed forces and its primary intelligence agency ISI.
During this day, shutter down strikes on small scale in the far-flung areas of Balochistan and demonstrations of small attendance by exiled BSNs take place, including active social media campaign against Pakistan’s security agencies regarding the disappeared persons.
The anti-Pakistan section of Baloch people who are in minority held Pakistan’s security forces responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings and the missing persons in the province, while facts are quite different, which need analysis.
Notably, as a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. However, these elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, and do not favour separation of the Balachistan, as they have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by anti-Pakistan powers.
Even a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 212, had disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan. This survey has also proved that some external entities have been conducting acts of sabotage in the province by backing the minority groups.
It is due to the progressive works of Pak Army in the province that a division has been created among the militant groups’ leaders in Balochistan. On 2011, I had visited Balochistan along with other journalists. I saw a number of institutes, set up by army, and these were providing education, especially technical training to thousands of Balochis. Besides other developments works, Pak Army was also imparting army training to the Baloch youth. So, the purpose of army is to uplift of the Baloch people with creation of jobs and to bring them in the mainstream of the country. However, I had also a trip to far-flung areas of the province and witnessed various mega projects and mineral sites, protected by armed forces. People also told me that subversive events are being arranged by the minority separatist elements so as to create chaotic situation in the province.
Similarly, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is a game changer, will not only develop Balochistan, but will also provide employment to the Baloch.
As regards the deteriorating situation of Balochistan, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Salvation Front (BSF) and their affiliated outfits, including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from American CIA, Indian RAW, and Israeli Mossad.
In this respect, in the recent past, new wave of terrorism in Pakistan, especially Balochistan killed several innocent people, while various terrorist outfits, particularly the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL), and the affiliated faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA) claimed responsibility for these brutal acts. TTP based in Afghanistan has its connections with ISIL and other terrorist organizations and affiliated terror groups, including Baloch separatist elements, and all these outfits are promoting the anti-Pakistan agenda of the foreign entities against Pakistan. As part of the double game, CIA, RAW, Mossad and Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) which are in collaboration, are using these terror outfits in destabilizing Pakistan and particularly Balochistan in order to fulfill the covert strategic aims of the US-led India and Israel against Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran.
These external secret agencies are especially supporting the TTP which is hiding in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan. Reportedly, Mullah Fazlullah led TTP is behind several terror activities inside Pakistan, as the latter has also become center of the Great Game due to the ideal location of Balochistan. With the tactical assistance of CIA, particularly, RAW is trying to damage the CPEC.
In the past few years, these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in Balochistan. They also massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. Therefore, they are responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. A majority of the disappeared individuals are also in the detention centers (Farrari Camps) which are being run by foreign-assisted Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) who want to continue old system of feudalism in the province so as to maintain their status, prestige and influence at the cost of people of the province. However, these anti-Pakistan elements are behind the missing persons.
It is mentionable that India, the US and Israel have been internationalizing the Balochistan issue in accordance with their secret goals. In this context, in connivance with the Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in Switzerland, Sweden, US and London, these foreign elements use media, various NGOs and human rights organizations for false propaganda against Pakistan’s security agencies in relation to extrajudicial killings, mutilated bodies and the missing persons.
It is noteworthy that the armed forces of Pakistan have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan. And Pakistan’s primarily intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts.
Besides, since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and peace has been restored in Balochistan.
But, recent blasts especially in Balochistan and other regions of the country show that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage to weaken Pakistan and to damage the CPEC.
Taking cognizance of facts, the idea of observing the as the so-called International Day of the Disappeared as part of the propaganda campaign in relation to the missing persons of Balochistan must be denounced by all the segments of society, while, every year, the majority of the Baloch reject the call for shutter down strike in connection with this day. But, these anti-Pakistan aims of the separatist elements also needs to be countered by our own, analysts and media persons and through social media by giving true perspective and denouncing the hostile elements who distort the facts in order to advance their vested interests in accordance with the direction of the external entities who want to destabilize the federation of the country.
These internal entities of the country must point out that people of Balochistan, particularly the youth are very loyal and patriotic Pakistanis who believe in unity and sovereignty of the country. They cannot be misled by elusive designs of greedy leaders who plan to observe August 30 as the so-called day regarding the missing persons on the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared so as to distort the image of Pakistan and its security agencies.