Balochistan: Neglected still
Islamabad, 2 October. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has released a detailed report after a fact-finding mission to Balochistan. Titled Balochistan: Neglected Still, the report states that Balochistan continues to be shortchanged politically.
Incidents of enforced disappearance continue: in most cases, victims’ families say they are afraid of communicating their cases to the authorities. A disconcerting trend is that of women being ‘disappeared’ in certain areas, such as Dera Bugti and Awaran. Yet these cases tend not to be reported or recorded. HRCP’s investigation also reveals that hundreds of coal mines are being operated by people who possess neither the financial resources nor the technological skills to provide for operational safety or deal with emergencies. The mission found that security agencies impose an unofficial security charge on per ton production from coal mines, which mine owners and labour unions alike have deemed extortion. HRCP believes that the level of the Frontier Corps’ presence in Balochistan and its degree of control undermines provincial government and civilian administration. The unwarranted involvement and permanent presence of security personnel in educational institutions like Balochistan University must also end.
HRCP strongly feels that the provincial government and civilian administration must run the affairs of the province without any undue interference. In addition, a law that criminalises enforced disappearances, punishes the perpetrators and compensates victims’ families must be enacted expeditiously.
The report is available on HRCP’s website http://hrcp-web.org/hrcpweb/category/fact-finding-reports/