September 01, 2012

‘Talebanisation on the rise in Balochistan’

Rehan Siddiqui / 1 September 2012

KARACHI — The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has claimed that Talebanisation was growing in the country’s largest and troubled Balochistan province and its capital Quetta has become a haven for militants.

The latest report by the HRCP on Balochistan came after a mission visited the province from May 15 to 19 to assess the impact of recent measures taken by the government with respect to the province, and to hear suggestions from stakeholders on a way out of the crisis.

“Talebanisation is growing in several areas and, unlike in the past, religious fanaticism is not merely being exported to the province from elsewhere — it is now being bred in Balochistan,” the report said.

It also reported that a growing network of seminaries has contributed to inflame sectarian tensions and militant training camps are reported in the province while the government’s strategy to quell the unrest in the province has largely failed.

The mission, during its stay in Balochistan, met members of the executive, representatives of political parties, civil society organisations, relatives of missing persons, religious and ethnic minority communities, businessmen, lawyers, journalists, teachers, students and senior government officials.

According to the report, the situation in Balochistan, in many fundamental respects, has not changed since HRCP’s last fact-finding mission to the province in 2011. Enforced disappearances continue in the province as does the dumping of bodies and impunity for perpetrators.

Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies are generally believed to be involved in enforced disappearance; in some cases their involvement had been proved beyond doubt, the report says.

Target killings and crime on the basis of religious and ethnic identity has grown, the report says, adding that the continued persecution of the Hazaras is as ruthless as it is unprecedented.

The report also pointed out that there is a popular feeling that the national media has abandoned Balochistan and has not given the province adequate coverage and journalists in the field feel threatened from the security forces, militants and insurgents.§ion=international

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