The recently released November 2023 human rights report by Paank presents a disheartening view of Balochistan, highlighting a significant increase in human rights violations. The report documented 13 extrajudicial killings and the forced disappearance of 62 individuals post their arrest by the Pakistani army, with a staggering 22 individuals released from torture cells during this period.
The distressing situation was underscored across various regions: 2 individuals from Sindh, 5 from Shaal, 17 from Kech, 2 from Lasbela, 14 from Awaran, 1 from Panjgur, 4 from Dera Bugti, 1 from Mastung, 3 from Khuzdar, 2 from Kharan, 1 from Chagai, 1 from Chaman, 1 from Sibi, 7 from Gwadar, and an individual from Naseerabad district faced enforced disappearances through illegal arrests by the Pakistan army.
The report outlined tragic incidents in Buzdad and Perandar in Awaran district, where intrusions led to the killing of two individuals within their homes. Furthermore, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) was implicated in the deaths of three forcibly missing persons in a staged encounter in Khuzdar district. Additionally, false police encounter claims resulted in the deaths of seven disappeared individuals in custody within the Kech district.
The report highlighted the appalling events in Balgatar, Kech district, on November 19, 2023. This event marked a brutal escalation in the series of enforced disappearances in Balochistan. Three individuals from the same family—Shah Jahan, Nabi Dad, and Adil—were forcibly disappeared, placed in a rigged vehicle, and killed in a bomb blast. Investigations suggested complicity involving the Pakistan Army, the Police Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), and local operative Khalid Yaqoob in these heinous acts. The tragedy exposed systemic violations by state institutions and the orchestrated nature of extrajudicial killings and disappearances.
The disturbing trend continued in Turbat, Kech district, on November 28, 2023, when police presented the bodies of Saifullah, Shakoor, Abdul Wadud, and Balach—individuals who forcibly disappeared—as casualties of a confrontation. This revelation sparked vehement protests, particularly from the family of Balach, condemning the act as a severe case of extrajudicial custodial killings. The escalating misuse of power by the CTD, staging false encounters, has transformed it into a tool for violence, necessitating urgent disarmament to prevent further atrocities.
The report also sheds light on the plight of students, who face discrimination and enforced disappearances, turning educational institutions into military-controlled zones. Instances of unjustified force were observed at Lasbella University, where students were barred from bringing books and participating in academic discussions, culminating in the enforced disappearance of Sameer Baloch on November 17, 2023.
The gravity of the situation in Balochistan demands immediate international attention and accountability for those responsible for these gross human rights violations. Despite consistent efforts to raise awareness, the humanitarian crisis in Balochistan continues to be ignored, necessitating urgent intervention to safeguard the lives and rights of its people.