Baloch Hal Editorial: People’s Right to Know What Happened in Kharotabad

One of the injured women raises her hand before being silenced forever

Once again, an important editorial from Baloch Hal online daily, being reproduced here because the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has since November 2010 blocked the Baloch Hal website in Pakistan

Editorial: People’s Right to Know What Happened in Kharotabad

The Kharotabad tragedy was simply as tragic as tragedy can be.  The brutal killing of Chechen nationals, mainly women, including a pregnant lady, on May 27th left us all totally speechless as the nation watched on TV the extremely perturbing imagines of the victims of shooting  allegedly by the police and the Frontier Corps.

Tragedy aside, we witnessed a rare but an encouraging development for which the government of Balochistan must be commended. The investigations into the incdent, no matter how defective and imperfect, were successfully completed.

It would in fact remove our people’s sense of insecurity if the killings were not probed merely because of the unprecedented international and national pressure on the government of Balochistan. These investigations were completed despite every effort by the Frontier Corps and the official functionaries to torture Dr. Jabar Shah, who carried out the postmortem of the victims and journalist Jamal Tarakai, who testified against the security forces.

In a society where investigations are a rare trend, we congratulate the government of Balochistan for accomplishing this significant goal. We sincerely hope such positive trends will be encouraged and promoted in the future in order to contain human rights violations in Balochistan.

While the completion of the investigations is laudable, people are now  wondering what the investigators actually found. Here is where the government of Balochistan now disappoints us by deciding not to publicize the findings of the probe.

For the people of Balochistan, who have suffered for ages because of the excesses of the Frontier Corps, it is not surprising what actually happend in  Kharotabad. But it is still important to give the people the right to know who the elements responsible for the killings were. What are the motivations behind such insanity and unprofessional attitude?

Moreover, only the completion of the inquiry does not accomplish what the requirements of justice demand. The real task beings now: Are the families of the shooting victims going to get justice? Are the murderers of the unarmed foreigners going to be punished?

From the past experiences, we know that the powerful elements in the country’s security establishment will strive to protect the personnel responsible for the killings. This time, the government of Balochistan and the judiciary must surprise the naysayers who brand them as “highly predictable”.

In our society, dispensation of justice is unfortunately an unpredictable phenomenon which not many people have seen in their life time.

The Amnesty International has also demanded that the findings of the inquiry should be made public so that the requirements of justice and democracy are met. The government is unwilling to share the details apparently because it does not want to embarrass or ‘demoralize’ its own troops.

On its part, the Amnesty International has rightly argued that “by refusing to make the findings public they are merely confirming the view, now widely held in Pakistan, that state security forces are above the law. In no place is this more true than in Balochistan where the frontier corp and police have for some time now been implicated in a range of human rights abuses.”

The investigations  in this particular case have not been totally smooth and flawless. But the government of Balochistan should take this exercise from a positive angle and learn to repeat more such practices in the future. There are a number of cases of human rights violation in Balochistan which need to be probed without any fear and favor.

We should rise as a society which should learn to impart justice not because some foreign countries enjoin us to do so but because we have to learn this important lesson that societies without justice do not have the right to exist.

Malik Siraj Akbar,
Editor-in-Chief  The Baloch Hal

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2 Responses

  1. What can one expect from a society with a corrupt mindset. Just see our media reporting an unnatural death; it is either ‘shaheed’, ‘jaanbahaq’ or just ‘halaak’. Even a mosque gets shaheed, but the innocent human beings who are killed brutally may be reported as just ‘halaak’ at their purely subjective bias.

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  2. […] Baloch Hal Editorial: People’s Right to Know What Happened in Kharotabad […]

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