Murders in Balochistan: I blame the government

Published: March 16, 2011

Given the volatile situation in Balochistan, how can anyone be expected to feel anything other than completely insecure?

A friend of mine left Quetta for his hometown in Turbat recently without informing anyone.

After reaching home, he re-established contact with the lot of us. Upon being asked as to why he would just get up and leave without telling any of us, he simply said it was for security purposes.

According to him, many of his friends in the past had been whisked away from their homes in Turbat, Gwadar and Panjgur and are currently listed as ‘missing persons’. He clearly did not want a similar fate. And rightly so, I might add.

Given the volatile situation in the province, with kidnappings on the rise and subsequent killings, how can anyone be expected to feel anything other than completely insecure?

The same friend cited an incident about one of his friends who was kidnapped on December 28 last year while he was on his way home. His body was later found along with that of the Baloch Students Organisation leader Qambar Chakar’s, near a seasonal river in Kech district. The deceased was a sub-editor at a monthly Baloch magazine Darwanth.

Today, a deep-rooted sense of uncertainty prevails within every individual in Balochistan, regardless of their profession or political affiliation.

As of last July, as many as 100 bullet-riddled bodies of missing persons have been uncovered in desolate areas throughout the province. The whereabouts of a number of missing are still unknown.

Federal as well as provincial governments, along with the judiciary, have yet to resolve the lingering issue.

Whatever the reasons may be for the kidnappings or the killings, the responsibility of it all lies with the government, the law enforcers and the judiciary. We are counting on them to restore peace in the severely unstable region.

Shezad Baloch

Shezad Baloch

A research journalist and former Express Tribune correspondent. He tweets as @shezadbaloch (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Chilli

    The current governmet has no priorities or agenda. They are busy in saving thier coats and palaces. You need urgent measures to settle issues in Balouchistan our beloved province. We faced similar situation in and still now in Karachi which is turning to killing field. We are being hoarded by corrupt and incompetent leadership. All of us must unite because this is all conspiracies againts our very nation.Recommend

  • sadaf akhtar

    Hundreds of hours of tv airtime,thousands of artilces on the press about akbar bugti but nothing for the hundreds of punjabi settlers brutally murdered in balochistan by the terrorist organisations.

    Why no tv anchors have discussed this ethnic cleansing of punjabis who had been living & paying taxes in balochistan for over 50 years.Lakhs of punjabi people living in balochistan have been forced to sell their houses,shops at throwaway prices to escape being killed.

    All the tv channels shout about the missing people,why never any coverage of the families of the victims of this deliberate ethnic cleansing?

    where are the NGO’s who don’t let a day go by without protesting the missing people but have never ever protested about the well planned massacre of punjabis in balochistan??Recommend

  • rahim irfan

    yet another sob story about the missing people,when is tribune going to do a story on the ethnic genocide carried out against the non-Baloch settlers in balochistan??Recommend

  • liyaqat

    What is the remedy of all this barbarism which is going on from the both sides in the state. And in between, it is the common people irrespective of ethenicty are suffering both physically as well as economically. It was better for both sides to burry their hatchets and come forward on the dialogue table and sort out the best viable solution to the issue, which is accepatable to all the concerned stake holders. If they continue to inflict injuries then it is the duty of people to come out their homes and take control of the state.Recommend

  • saad

    we have destroyed balochistan and it’s people through our greed. please forgive us. Recommend

  • adnan baloch

    Situation is getting worse day by day in Baluchistan but our current government latent and chief minister spend most of his precious time in Islamabad rather than Quetta. If Baluchistan issues are not taken seriously its consequences would be worse. Recommend

  • Sadiq Baloch

    Dear Punjabi friends, as many as 150 Baloch people, most of them were students, have been killed at the end of Punjabi in recent past while merely 10 Punjabi fell victim to targeted killings for past two years. A single visit to posh areas of Quetta and civil secretariat Balochistan will prove that Punjabis are living peacefully there. “You Punjabi had always treated the Baloch people as second class citizen,” it was said by a Punjabi Prof not by Baloch. There is no electricity in 10 districts at all. Balochistan has merely 3 universities. literacy rate is much below than other provinces. There are 15 districts where tribal system do not exist why Punjabi do not carry out development work. Shame on you people over passing these remarks. Recommend

  • Adnan Aamir Sarparah

    I totally agree that government is responsible for killings of Balochistan. I have seen comments that why no one talks about Ethnic cleansing in Balochistan and always about the killing and baloch and Akbar bugti. My answer to them is that no one calls this ethnic cleansing right and this is condemned by natives of balochistan as well. This also gets coverage on Tv though not too much or as much some people wish. My point is that this issue should be seen as separeted to the genocide of Baloch people taking place at the hands of state establishment. If killing of non-baloch in balochistan is called barbarianism then i don’t have words what to call what is happening to baloch community. Baloch people specailly youth are kidnapped on daily basis and their distorted,mutilated and tortured dead bodies are found from mountains and plains. These atrocities are much much more brutal then what is happening to non-baloch in balochistan.

    This doesn’t mean that we should not condemn the ethnic cleansing issue as two wrongs don’t make a right but at the same time non-baloch community should also condemn the atrocities happening against baloch. Our country was founded on the basis of equality and survive on the basis that life of every citizen is equally valuable irrespective of whether he is a punjabi, pashtoon or baloch.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    To my Baloch brothers commenting on this blog and this thread, I seriously and genuinely think the targeted ethnic cleansing of ethnic Punjabis in the province of Balochistan should be recorded, reported, and at the same time efforts by the government of Balochistan as well as the Baloch people should be made in order to stop this, bring an end to this genocide that is taking place. Hundreds of ethnic Punjabi families that have lived in Balochistan since the early days of Pakistan have had to flee their homes, their properties, their livelihood, Punjabi travellers are terrified of visiting the province even. You often hear or read about in the paper, atrocities like for example a Bus enroute to Quetta from Lahore being stopped in the middle of nowhere, and ethnic Punjabi’s being massacred while the ethnic baloch and ethnic pashtuns spared from the same vehicle. I will not disagree with you people on the notion that there is a feeling of being treated like second class citizens amongst the people of Balochistan, the problem of ethnic discrimination in Pakistan is not unique to this country, it is a problem you find in just about every developing nation, and in a lot of cases many developed nations as well, that certain ethnic groups are on the recieving end of discrimination. I am not condoning this behaviour, ethnic discrimination is wrong, it should not happen, but this does not justify murder and ethnic cleansing, two wrongs do not make a right. Do not forget a lot of our Baloch brothers are living outside the province as well in major cities of Pakistan such as Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad as well, by targetting other ethnic groups in your province, there might be retaliation towards Baloch families who have lived in Sindh and Punjab for over 50 years and have become an important part of society in these provinces.
    Your Baloch student association often falls under the federal Government Spot light because a lot of their members are known for inciting hatred towards non Balochis and towards their own country. Regardless of which government is sitting in Islamabad, if certain organized groups anywhere in the nation are promoting hatred towards the state, it will be a matter of concern for the government. Violence and hatred is not the way to get your voice heard. Things were not so bad in Balochistan till 10-15 years, things started going in this direction somewhere between 2002 and 2004.
    We are all people of one soil, one nation and we must learn to respect one another, value each other’s human life and learn to get along and live together.
    As far as who ever made the argument on Education, there being only 3 Universities in Balochistan, In case u havent noticed the Education budget by the federal government is a pathetic excuse of an allocation. A large number of higher education colleges and universities in Sindh and Punjab are privately Owned.
    The elite of Balochistan, should spend their money in partnership with the Government of Pakistan on the development of the education sector in the province, instead of supporting Anti Pakistani sentiments and arming the wana be seperatists. The money spent on Guns and ammunition could be spent on Education the Baloch Youth, could be spent on Private sector initiatives to improve life in the province. Recommend

  • Sadiq Baloch

    Deen Shiekh.. Please please read newspapers where every next day you can get the news of recovery of bullet riddled bodies. All are Baloch not Punjabi not Pashtun. what is this. you should visit Balochistan then come to know that how many Punjabis are still living here and you cant find any Baloch in any key post. There are some certain areas named with Gujar, Chaudhry so on. And also read the history of Balochistan which had been occupied by force not by will of the people. Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    @Sadiq Baloch:
    I refuse to visit a province, where there is active ethnic cleansing of its own fellow Pakistanis solely on their background and heritage being that from another province, I am only Punjabi by ancestory and surname, but i think the ethnic cleansing of ethnoc punjabis your fellow Pakistanis is utterly disgusting, its inexcusable and goes against the Baloch spirit and tradition of hospitality. How do we Pakistanis in other cities know, that the baloch youth found murdered had no links to the bla or any other seperatist militias, how do we know that youth is not directly or indirectly linked to hate groups which advocate hatred for Pakistanis esp
    Ethnic punjabis, how do we know it isnt gang wars, how do we know the murdered youth wasnt a victim of crime. Far more people die of terrorism, targetted killings, political rivalries, gang wars, organised in Karachi in a week, then they do in your province the whole year. How do we know all this? You are going to blame the death of every baloch youth on the govt of Pakistan? It happens on every country, these problems are not unoque to Balochistan or Pakistan. Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    @Sadiq Baloch:
    And yeah one more thing, your shouting about the death of a baloch youth every other day, come to khi and see for urself, 30+ youth are shot dead here in Karachi every single day. The elite of your province is just hungry for power and land.Recommend

  • Mastoi

    ….Punjabis are not being killed in Balochistan…And have you ever voiced against the killing of Baloch people. no never. despite the appeals of international humantarian organizations still people are being killed. If Baloch women and elders are not secured from killing and humiliation then there is no need of Punjabissssssssssss. The majority in forces are Punjabi hence we blame them for ethnic cleansing. Baloch are suffering from this war. NO education, no development. but we evange killings and do not sit silence. got it. Only Nazima Talib was killed you people are shouting what about 50,000 Baloch who have been killed and listed as missing. Shame on you people instead of understanding the problem you people are blaming Baloch. as far as Karachi concern so there ethnic groups are fighting for their creed in case of Balochistan there is fight for great cause. in Balochistan women taking to streets because they lost their beloved ones…..Recommend

  • Noorulain Tauqi

    I’m a Baluch by ethnicity and Pakistani by race. What do I call my self when I’m asked for my origin among all Caucasians around me? Do I represent my self as a Pakistani-Baluch or Baluch-Pakistani? As confusing as it sounds, I get really confused too when I read these blogs, and conversations, people pointing figures on each other, “YOU BALUCH or YOU PUNJABIS.” Whatever is going on in Pakistan right now, whether it’s in Quetta, Lahore, Karachi anywhere in Pakistan, its a genocide of Homo Sapiens, of human kind. Yes, some people are suffering more than others but you hear these horrifying stories of mass murdering all over Pakistan. I don’t understand, why we keep forgetting, we are Pakistani first than Punjabi’s, Baluch, Sindhi’s and Pathans. These blogs should be for sympathy and moral support with one-another as Pakistani’s & not blaming each other. We already have worse government support as it as, last thing we need is a CIVIL WAR.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    @Noorulain Tauqi:
    well said, I wish to see more people with similar spirits as defined by you. When will we as a nation finally start identifying ourselves as a nation, as Pakistanis. It seems, we are unable to get out of our ethnic shells, and every day socio-political life in all parts of the country remain widely ethnicized. It is very disturbing when I hear stories of the Pakistan flag burning in Balochistan, or off ethnic cleansing of ethnic baloch in that province. We as Pakistani’s have a right to live in any part of our country that we wish to, whether it be Quetta, whether Karachi or Islamabad, or even a small town in Punjab or Sindh. The entire nation is our home, and I hope one day a spirit of nationalism becomes a part of our lives and we are no longer misguided by the ethnicized politics promoted by political leaders. Pakistan Zindabad.Recommend

  • Liberty

    @Deen / Tuqi; Please stop your occupying & suppressing tactics – Balochs / Balochistan have thousands year of history as a nation and independent country which was occupied by dominated Punjabis PORKISTAN whereas PORKISTAN an illusionary state just emerged on the world map by their MATSERS(British) and this illusionary state INSHA’ALLAH will never become a nation since the dominant panjabis treating the rest of the nations as their slaves following the trend of their MASTERS, for that the creation of BANGLADESH as a real nation on the world map just after two decades of this ruthless illusionary state creation can be referred as a live example. And soon INSHA’ALLAH the rest of the suppressed nations will be free from you tyrant occupiers – the Punjabis ; Its really disgusting as you Panjabi’s since the creation of this ruthless state using religion as a tool to keep the rest of the nations as your colonies & slaves and you proved to the world in 70’s that how religious or good Muslims you are BY RAPING MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND (2 LACS) BENGALI WOMEN and KILLING 1.24 MILLION (MORE THAN 12 LACS) BENGALIS that’s what your Panjabi army did with Bengalis because they raised their voices for their rights and the Bengalis were one of the founder & stake holder in the creation of PORKISTAN joined PORKISTAN by their will but then the result came in 70’s in terms of the Panjabi army brutalities they did with Bengalis more than what Hitler did and Israel doing in Palestine, still you call PORKISTAN a nation and still you portray yourselves the best in Muslims or leader of Muslims – SHAME ON YOU. Now you cannot hide your face in the cover of “ISLAM” and “PORKISTAN NATION” because you panjabis are only the OCCUPIERS and the OCCUPIERS don’t have any religion, they just use the name of religion as a justification to keep the rest of the nations as their colonies but the time is now over soon this illusionary state will be eliminated from the world map and the oppressed nations will gain their liberty and will emerge as an Independent nations on the world map, practically PORKISTAN has already been fallen down and soon will be wiped out from the world map as its only a days matter since only now its surviving after his death because of the temporary oxygen being provided by US as AIDS to this tyrant state of panjabis. Keep the PORKISTAN with you, we don’t need it and STOP your shameful colonizing & occupying tactics as LIBERTY is every human being and all nations’ right, and soon INSHA’ALLAH we the oppressed nations will be liberated from Panjabis like Bengalis after 25 years of your illusionary creation. Therefor; the Baloch’s please don’t expect any kind of act of humanity from these tyrant panjabis after knowing what they did with Bengal and then later how they have destroyed Afghanistan.Recommend

  • shahzain

    hi salam shehzad baloch im ur big fan and i want to talk to u plz read my msg if u freRecommend