March 24, 2011

Balochistan in turmoil

Balochistan, March 21: A rapidly deteriorating security situation has led to continuous protests by the people in Pakistan's largest and resource-rich Balochistan province. The federal law & enforcement agencies, who the residents claim are responsible for the state of affirms, have failed to either restore peace or get them justice. Thousands of Baloch people have been missing for years. Their bullet-ridden bodies, most bearing torture marks are often recovered across the province. The victims' relatives and Baloch groups blame the `kill and dump' incidents on Pakistani security forces, particularly the Frontier Corps and the Intelligence agencies. The province was recently rocked by the abduction of two judges and 4 lawyers in separate incidents. The Supreme Court Bar Association President and human rights activist Asma Jahangir expressed concern over deteriorating law and order situation in Balochsitan and said the region's fire would engulf the entire country if not controlled.

ASMA JAHANGIR, President, Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan

"Not only in Balochistan, but in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa lawyers have been abducted for ransom. Our information has been that some have been abducted for ransom, while others have been picked up by the intelligence agencies, because they were conducting very sensitive, I would rather say litigation of some missing people."

NARGIS BALOCH, Chief Editor, Daily Intikhab, Balochistan

"Things have taken a turn for the worse and there is nothing called a government (in Pakistan). If this is democracy that we have been witnessing for the last three years, then dictatorship is a much better option. We have become used to living in such circumstances and are trying to figure out the thin line that separates democracy from dictatorship. Actually, the situation is worsening and it is sad witnessing what passes off as democratic rule in the country. It is the worst time as corruption is at its peak."

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