Abduction of Baloch women on rise
By Francesca Marino
Rome [Italy], Dec 14 (ANI): Few lines on Twitter or in Baloch websites as usual: Six persons have been abducted last night from the Hazarganji bus station: They were going to Quetta from Nasirbad district for medical reasons. Six people. Two old men, who were going to see an eye specialist, a seven years old child and three women.
All taken by Pakistani security forces, all disappeared into thin air. Their crime? The usual one. Belonging to the Bugti family, the family of the old Nawab killed by Pervez Musharraf's soldiers in 2006 and of his grandson Brahumdagh Bugti, forced to live in exile since then. But, above all, they are culpable on the biggest crime you can commit in Pakistan: They are Baloch. And, if you are a Baloch, your life is worth less than nothing.
The abduction of women and children is on the rise, in Balochistan. This is the second incident within less than two weeks. And if before the women, the children and the old people who would disappear were some way linked to activists, now the phenomenon assumed a new, scary face. They take people more or less randomly, behaving more like goons than like the army of a civilised country.
At the end of November, in fact, another thirteen people, mainly women and children were abducted from Dera Bugti and taken to an undisclosed location. According to locals, the group was moving from the mountains to the city like they usually do in winter.
When the security forces took them, they had a huge number of camels carrying wheat and other livestock. According to the same locals, after the abduction, army officers contacted the families demanding some million of rupees to release them.
Useless to say camels and supplies were gone for good. Why does this happen? Why did they do it? Simply "Because they can", said years ago the writer Mohammed Hanif while talking of ISI and army people.
During the same days, four women were abducted from the Awaran district, with the same technique. The ladies have been kept in a military cell for one day, then handed over to the Levies forces and charged with false accuses of terrorism after forty-eight hours of illegal detention and torture.
The ladies had to be shifted to the hospital immediately after. Days later, police abducted -- also from Quetta -- the daughter and wife of Dr Allah Nazar, the head of Balochistan Liberation Front, plus other two women with two small children.
Just notice that all over the world an unwritten law has been upheld among self-respecting criminals. Even the mafia in earlier days, by which the safety of their women and children is in most cases inviolable.
Harming or killing -- as they did years ago to the sister and the niece of Brahumdagh Bugti -- defenseless women and children in cold blood is, for any professional killer, breaking the code of honour.
But the Pakistani army in Balochistan has no code and no honour. The abduction of women and children is not new, in fact. In the past, there have been cases, several cases of women abducted, detained and tortured, used as sex slaves by military personnel and then thrown away when they were tired of playing with them.
However, it is difficult to get numbers, because, as it always happens in these cases that women feel ashamed and don't want to disclose their misery. It took years and years to highlight in full the horrors of rapes during the Bangladeshi war, and it will take years, when and if all this will end one day, to disclose in full the plight of Baloch women.
"I demand to stop the State violence on our mothers and sisters," says Dr Naila Qadri, who heads the World Baloch Women Forum. "Pakistan Army is a rapist and pedophilic Army. They are dishonouring, raping and torturing our women and children. I feel very angry over the silence of UNO, USA, India, and the EU."
Despite issuing statements, in fact, despite giving regularly speeches during the meetings of Human Rights Commission in Geneva trying to raise the attention of the world, the issue of the Balochistan women and of Balochistan in general barely gets any attention at an international level.
"The Pakistan army has well-documented brutal use of heavy artillery against unarmed innocents, along with helicopter gunships, and its merciless acts of burning village hutments, slaughter of unarmed civilians, rape, kidnap, torture, and extra-judicial killings are utterly incomprehensible acts of inhumanity," read a statement recently released by the World Baloch Women Forum (WBWF).
"We urge the world governments, the United Nations and human rights groups to take concrete steps to hold Pakistan responsible for the abductions, and demand the release of Baloch captive," it added.
But despite the regular reports by Amnesty International and other Human Right organisations, despite the calls to the world not only from Baloch but from Pashtuns and Sindhi too, victims of the same treatment by the same forces who should protect them, the international community seems have chosen to turn blind and deaf.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are strictly those of the author) (ANI)