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AFB urges State Dept to take note of attack on director's family in Balochistan

February 20, 2018

Washington, D.C. –  Following a series of incidents of harassment capped by a near-fatal attack on the lives of several relatives of their Research Director, the American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) refused to be intimidated and issued a public statement. AFB urges the US State Department to take serious notice of the attack and unlawful harassment of the family members of their leaders.

In a Press statement issued by the organization's public relations director Carl Clemens Mahodaya, the AFB said last Friday, three brothers, a nephew and a cousin of an AFB director miraculously survived a murderous hail of bullets on the Quetta-Chaman Road, near Jangal Camp while they were traveling from Pishin to their home town Kullaza in Qilla Abdullah.

The attackers were said to be from the family of the late Shah Wali Piralizai and are protected by local political bigwig Majeed Khan Achakzai, who is a member of the provincial assembly. Such incidents are not uncommon in that area, and members of the district administration and the paramilitary Frontier Corps are typically complicit.

These were immediate relatives of AFB Research Director Najeeb Khan, a PhD student at an American university. Mr. Khan has been quite vocal against Pakistani security forces’ policy of enforced disappearances and kill-and-dump methods in Pakistan-administered Balochistan. He himself had survived an assassination attempt four years ago in Pakistan, taking two bullets to his body.

“I have not done anything wrong,” Najeeb Khan said. “All I have done is expose the extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in Balochistan. This I will continue to do, regardless of the threats and intimidation.”

“I have not done anything wrong,” Najeeb Khan said. “All I have done is expose the extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in Balochistan. This I will continue to do, regardless of the threats and intimidation.”

This attack comes on the heels of repeated harassment of Khan’s family by Pakistani state agencies. His father was forced to disown him publicly via a newspaper advertisement, and intelligence sleuths continue to pester them. Moreover, two months ago the ISI summoned Khan’s brother Kaleem Ullah to the Quetta cantonment and interrogated him for an entire day about the American Friends of Balochistan president and its main leaders. Further, just two and a half weeks ago officers in plain clothes also visited the retail outlet of Najeeb Khan’s father-in-law Hassan Agha in Quetta, to question and blackmail the Quetta businessman.

A week ago, on February 10, Najeeb Khan was one of the main speakers at a Pashtun rally in Philadelphia in support of the ‘Pashtun Long March’ that was in progress in Pakistan in protest against state discrimination and brutality against the Pashtun people.

Following is a video of Najeeb Khan speaking at AFB inauguration along with speakers and others such as Professor Christine Fair of Georgetown University and human rights defender  T. Kumar


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