The main objective of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is to protect all people everywhere from severe political, legal, and social abuses the rights to freedom of religion, fair trial when charged with a crime, not to be tortured and the right to engage in political activity. Nonetheless, not every question of social justice or wise governance is a human rights issue. One has to consider the national interest as in case of an external conflict, human rights are less important than the security-national crisis. As such the decision in principle to prefer the national interest to individual rights , is a justified one. Pakistan is facing turmoil in Balochistan because of the Indian meddling in Pakistan s internal affairs. There have been credible evidences about the complicity of few angry tribal chieftains with foreign elements in fomenting trouble in Balochistan. Therefore, the norms of Human Rights regarding external conflict are very much applicable as far as Balochistan is concerned. The wide publication of incidents of human rights violation in Balochistan by HRCP, which highlighted the so-called miseries like disappearances, political victimisation, displacement due to clean-up operations, etc, may not fall in the ambit of national interest.
In a recently published report on Balochistan, HRCP accused Pakistan Army and its coordinating departments responsible for extra-judicial killings, bullet-ridden corpses and missing persons cases in Balochistan. According to the HRCP report, FC personnel had literally taken over the whole province and did not listen or talk to the inhabitants of the area under their control.
Ignoring constructive criticism, the HRCP made serious allegations of corruption on the security agencies without providing any solid evidence. It alleged that during the one year period, only in Khuzdar more than 33 bodies were found, which could not be recognised, while the number of missing persons is more than 140.
Every sane Pakistani is cognizant of the fact that few miscreants are attacking government s vital and strategic installations, vehicles and crowds from their hideouts. As they pose a threat to the writ of the government in the province, the security forces stepped up their crackdown on the miscreants , resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. These militant tribesmen are equipped with the latest surface-to-air missiles, anti-tank mines, hand grenades, rockets, mortar shells and huge stores of ammunition. The incidents of targeting government strategic installations are almost a daily occurrence in Balochistan, casting adverse impact on the socio-economic situation in the province.
Balochistan government has termed the HRCP report untrue. The Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani said, Although the situation is alarming all over the world, there is nothing to worry about Balochistan as the allegations by human rights organizations are untrue and biased . ISPR Director-General Major General Athar Abbas called for probing the funding of HRCP, as this could be traced back to those forces, which want to destabilise Pakistan. Rejecting the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, Inspector General of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan, Major General Obaidullah Khan said that the report tried to malign the law enforcement agencies by not projecting their good deeds. I have complete confidence in the credibility of the law enforcing force which functions in accordance with the law and orders of the government, said the IG FC in an interview. According to military statistics, 800 innocent people had lost their lives while more than 1,300 civilians and law enforcers were injured in rocket and mines attacks during the last 18 months but, these incidents had not been mentioned in the report.
To project the law enforcement forces in a bad light is in the interest of such human rights organizations. The civil society and media must understand that the situation in Balochistan in its true perspective and project sincere efforts of the institutions concerned in a positive way to improve the situation.
As far as recovery of missing persons is concerned, the law enforcing agencies were cooperating with the federal government and judicial tribunals. The official figure of missing persons is 46, who are being traced. However, some militant organisations killed their own people when they become useless after being injured, making the security apparatus guilty of killing Baloch in the eyes of Baloch people. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik disclosed that some 200 Baloch youths who were allegedly disappeared in Balochistan, have been traced. Most of these persons had crossed border and were being trained by the India RAW operatives in Afghanistan.
The federal government is leaving no stone unturned in bringing peace and prosperity in Balochistan. The introduction of Aghaz Haqooq-e-Balochistan package on November 24, 2009 as part of its efforts to heal the wounds of the province, is a step in right direction. More importantly, the role of the Pakistan armed forces has been commendable in protecting the country from both external and internal threats. The decision by the COAS Gen. Kayani that no new cantonment would be established in Balochistan against the wishes of its people is much appreciated.
The relentless rescue & relief operations conducted by the defence forces of Pakistan during outbreaks and flash-floods in Balochistan are in front of the whole nation. On the aspect of Balochs participation in national defence forces of Pakistan, as well as assistance in overcoming the unemployment problem, at least 4,000 Baloch youths have already joined the army and 5,000 more would be recruited this year. The qualifications, selection criterion and age limits have been relaxed to accommodate large number of youth from Balochistan. As per the government policy, thousands of contractual and daily wages employees have been regularized. On the development front, Pakistan Army is opening army medical college, institute of technology in Gwadar and military college in Sui would also provide modern education facilities to Baloch youths and remove their sense of alienation.
Pakistan Army has recently inaugurated Musakhel Minerals Development Project in Zhob. Whereas, Pakistan Navy has inaugurated Darman Jkah Hospital in Ormara Balochistan to carter civilians needs. The social uplift and welfare-oriented work coupled with the security provided by the law enforcing authorities has elevated the quality of life in Balochistan. This needs to be highlighted at an appropriate level in the press. And, the HRCP would be failing in their documented mission, if they do not project the good job done by the government in general and security forces of Pakistan in particular.