Missing Persons found in Mass Graves in Balochistan

Baloch youth picked up (Credit: balochistanhcrblogspot.com)
Baloch youth picked up
(Credit: balochistanhcrblogspot.com)

KHUZDAR – Khuzdar administration on Monday exhumed at least 11 more decomposed bodies from a mass grave discovered in Mayy area of Tutak, about 50-kilometre from Khuzdar city. The bodies are too decomposed to be recognised. A couple of days earlier on Sunday, two bodies were recovered from same area.

“At least 11 decomposed bodies were brought to District Headquarters Hospital Khuzdar,” said medics at hospital adding, “The bodies were decomposed beyond recognition like the two discovered earlier in Tutak, a desolate place far away from the main population centre.”

Total 13 bodies have so far been recovered and all of them were buried in Police Line graveyard in Khuzdar in presence of law enforcing agencies.

Deputy Commissioner Khuzdar Waheed Shah said that Balochistan levies personnel have again started digging the area. The identity of the bodies could not be ascertained; however, he added, that DNA test might help determine the identities.

“There could be few more, as we saw human remains,” said an official on the condition of anonymity. Presence of vulture and other wild birds attracted the attention of the shepherds who informed the district administration about the mass grave.

Baloch nationalist parties and relatives of the missing persons claimed that the victims could have been abducted and killed in official custody. “We fear that these bodies belonged to missing persons. Judiciary and Human Rights Watch should press the government to carryout a transparent investigation into this humanitarian issue,” said nationalists.

A shutter-down strike was observed in different Baloch-dominated districts on the call of Baloch National Front. The strike was observed in Turbat, Panjgour, Nushki, Kalat, Mastung and others area of the province where shops and markets remained shut.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan voiced its serious concern over the discovery of decomposed bodies in Khuzdar district, calling upon the federal and Balochistan government to urgently establish identity of the deceased and their killers.

In letters written to the federal interior minister and Balochistan chief minister, the HRCP noted that the bodies were far too decomposed to be recognisable. So far there was no information about who the deceased were and who killed them. Initial reports suggested that the persons had died around a month earlier and parts of their bodies had been eaten by wild animals.

According to reports and eye-witness accounts, there was a camp in the neighbourhood where some proxy gangs operated against the tribesmen who were not supporting them. It is more possible that the opponents were picked up, killed and dumped in the mass grave as a part of policy.

The HRCP demanded that a thorough probe must be initiated and all efforts made to establish the facts in the case and bring the perpetrators to justice. If necessary, DNA tests should be conducted at the earliest to identity the deceased, it added.
“Such an investigation is all the more vital in view of the spate of violence, targeted killings and enforced disappearance and dumping of dead bodies of missing persons in Balochistan in recent years. The HRCP also called upon the government to facilitate relatives of missing persons who are keen to learn if the deceased included their dear ones.

The HRCP also urged the federal and provincial governments to find a solution to the violence, lawlessness and killings in Balochistan and stressed that such a solution must respect due process and human rights and that emphasis should be placed on finding political means to address the challenges.

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