It was the security forces in Balochistan, who bore the atrocious brunt of ongoing violence during the current week. The Baloch Liberation Army reportedly ambushed a Frontier Corps’ (FC) convoy near coalfield in Musa Khel on November 21 and killed at least 14 FC personnel including an army Major.
Relatives of missing persons rebuffed recent media reports, which stated that some of the families of missing persons received compensations from the Federal Government. Instead, they demanded immediate and speedy justice in missing persons’ cases. They also appealed to the international humanitarian organizations, the United Nations (UN) and Supreme Court of Pakistan to intervene to sort out this issue as soon as possible.
Deliberating upon the plight of Baloch people after two years of the announcement of Balochistan Rights’ Package (Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package), the president of Nationalist Party (NP), Senator Dr Abdul Malik observed that the most pressing issues, which the rights’ package was meant to address, are still unaddressed. The issues include the recovery of missing persons, return of self-exiled Baloch leaders to the country and investigation of the extra-judicial killings of Baloch leaders.
Former provincial minister Mrs. Fazila Aliani asserted that due to ongoing “insurgency, poverty, lack of funds, education policy, and schools” about 90 per cent of the girls in rural Balochistan are still out of schools.
Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), in its statement, denied recent media reports about military operations in Chamalang, Kohlu or any other part of Balochistan. It underlined that such reports are part of ongoing propaganda campaign orchestrated by the nationalist elements in the province.
Week in Review
a) Acts of Terrorism/Subversions
- At least 14 soldiers, including a major of the Frontier Corps, were killed when militants armed with sophisticated weapons attacked their convoy near a coalfield in Musa Khel, on November 21. A unit of the paramilitary FC was sent for providing security cover for the project. Armed men opened fire on the FC convoy a few kilometers from Bahlol Basti (district Musa Khel), a FC spokesperson said in a statement. The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has taken responsibility for the incident.
- Missing persons’ relatives in Balochistan categorically declined, on November 22, of receiving any compensation from the federal government on Monday, saying they want “justice, not money”.Addressing a news conference, Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Chairman Nasrullah Baloch also rejected the interior ministry’s Crisis Management Cell report on Balochistan. He was joined by relatives of missing persons. They then torched the form provided by the government for compensation in order to record their protest. They also appealed to international humanitarian organizations, the United Nations and the Supreme Court to intervene.
- Two years after the much-hyped Balochistan package was announced, the province continues to count its missing persons and the only ‘recovery’ made has been that of bullet-riddled bodies. Considered to be one of the major achievements of the PPP-led government, the parliament had unanimously approved the package on November 23, 2009. Although some administrative and financial issues have been addressed, the insurgency-affected province is far from normal. The president of Nationalist Party (NP) Senator Dr Abdul Malik said: the package did nothing to address long-standing grievances of the province. Issues like recovery of missing persons, return of self- exiled Baloch leadership to Pakistan, and investigation into the extra- judicial killings of political leaders are still far from implementation.
- Two bodies, that had been found earlier this week in Mand, have now been identified on Thursday, November 25, as the well known Central Information Secretary of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) Jalel Reki; whisked away on February 13 2009, and a Baloch National Movement activist Mohammad Yunus.
b) Political Front
A high level meeting held on Monday, November 21 under the chairmanship of commander southern command, Lt General Muhammad Alam Khattak, reviewed security and other matters pertaining to upcoming Muharramul Haram events. Home secretary, IG FC, provincial police chief, DIG, CCPO and representatives of sensitive institutions deliberated over the matter in the meeting. The meeting decided to fully follow a code of conduct during Muharramul Haram and directives were issued by the civil administration in this regard.
A month-long protest against the government’s approach towards Balochistan ended on November 24 after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani assured the disgruntled Syed Nasir Ali Shah of PPP-led government’s sincerity in improving law and order in the province. The prime minister said, while convincing Shah to end his protest and attend the National Assembly session, that target killing in the province is not acceptable and soon he will convince the meeting of the heads of the security forces to improve law and order situations in the province.
Rights activist, educationist and veteran politician Mrs. Fazila Aliani on November 24 while talking to media said: Around 90 per cent of girls in rural Balochistan are deprived of schooling in the province of Balochistan. A former member of the Public Service Commission, Mrs. Aliani said that the insurgency is the key reason, while a lack of necessary funds, absence of a well-defined education policy, lack of girls’ schools, acute shortage of teaching staff, and poverty are other factors which contribute to the backwardness in her province.
More than four years after the death of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, the Balochistan government has issued warrants for the arrest of federal government members in charge of the operation which ended his life (reported in the press on November 26). Former president, Parvez Musharraf, former prime minister, Shaukat Aziz and former Chief Minister, Jam Yousuf of Balochistan are wanted by the provincial government. The matter now rests with the federal government, after the provincial government followed the Balochistan High Court’s wishes.
No military operations are being conducted in Kohlu, Chamalang or any other area of Balochistan, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on November 26, terming all reports regarding the matter “baseless”. The ISPR statement denied reports appearing in some sections of the newspapers by some nationalist parties, about military operations involving aircraft, helicopters and sophisticated weaponry in Chamalang and bordering areas.
 Deadly strike: Major among 14 FC personnel killed in Balochistan’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/295210/four-security-personnel-killed-in-loralai/
 Justice, not money: relatives reject govt compensation’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/295635/justice-not-money-relatives-reject-govt-compensation/
 Two years on, Balochistan keeps counting its missing persons’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/296074/balochistan-package-two-years-on-balochistan-keeps-counting-its-missing-persons/
 Missing Persons: Body identified as Baloch nationalist Jalel Reki’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/297312/missing-persons-body-identified-as-baloch-nationalist-jalel-reki/
 Additional troops, security plan for Muharram activites in Quetta’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/295320/additional-troops-security-plan-for-muharram-activites-in-quetta/
 National Assembly session: PM ends Balochistan protest’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/296682/national-assembly-session-pm-ends-balochistan-protest/
 ‘90% of girls in rural Balochistan remain unschooled’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/296680/provincial-deprivation-90-of-girls-in-rural-balochistan-remain-unschooled/
Akbar Bugti Death: Balochistan issues arrest warrants for Musharraf, Aziz’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/297922/akbar-bugti-death-balochistan-issues-arrest-warrants-for-musharraf-aziz/
 Army’s Stance: ‘No military operation in Balochistan’, at http://tribune.com.pk/story/297874/armys-stance-no-military-operation-in-balochistan/