Jalil Reki’s murder is a test case for rights champion Sherry Rehman – by Laibaah

Cross-posted from Pakistan Blogzine

While elite media and human rights organizations are currently busy in projecting Sherry Rehman (Pakistan’s new Ambassador to the USA) as a champion of human rights in Pakistan, here is a first opportunity for Ambassador Rehman to demonstrate her commitment to human rights not only in Pakistan but also internationally.

A dead body that had been found dumped in the Aap Sar area of Turbat two days ago was identified on Thursday (24 Nov 2011) as being that of Baloch Republican Party (BRP) Central Informational Secretary Jalel Reki.

According to the victim’s father, Jalil Reki was whisked away on February 13, 2009, by a group of armed men from Sariab Road after Friday prayers, and an FIR was registered at Shalkot Police Station, against the then inspector general of Frontier Corps (FC), Major General Saleem Nawaz, and an official of a secret agency for their alleged involvement in whisking away the BRP central leader near his residence.

Reki’s father, Abdul Qadeer Baloch, who had formed the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons with other relatives of missing persons, had been observing a hunger strike outside Quetta Press Club for the release of his son and other missing persons. Reki’s mother and son too were active for swift recover of their dear one.

In February 2010, frail mother of Jalil Reki had appealed to Supreme Court of Pakistan, the UN, and human rights organizations to intervene and play their role for the release of thousands of Baloch abducted activists including her son. She had stated:

“Only Jalil Reki is not my son but I consider all twelve thousands abducted Baloch as my sons, who are suffering in secret prisons of the Pakistani Intelligence agencies. The 143 Baloch missing women are my daughters. I am appealing for the release of all the disappeared Baloch activists. Their mothers and other family members are also as worry as I am for my son.”

(Source 1, 2, 3)

End of hopes for Reki’s son

It was the end of hopes for five-year old Beurag Baloch after two years of consistent protest in front of the Quetta Press Club along with his grandfather Abdul Qadeer Baloch continued until the recovery of his missing father’s bullet-riddled dead body from Panjgur district. Rekhi’s son Beurag Baloch was the youngest of all the protestors sitting in front of the Quetta Press Club while his father, Abdul Qadeer Rekhi, was the eldest of all protestors demanding the release of the disappeared people. They were both popular and a continued source of encouragement to others who had joined them in a similar struggle. They always drew more attention than other protesters because of their age and determination to fight for justice. (Source)

End the hunger strike or your son will be killed!

Reki’s father, Mama Qadeer Baloch, is one of the most important leaders of the Voice for Missing Baloch Persons, an organization formed by the relatives of the missing persons. He had joined and improved the performance of the organization after the disappearance of his son, a former banker. Qadir had remained instrumental as the vice president of the VBMP in organizing press conferences, seminars, hunger strike camps and filing petitions at different courts.
He confirmed to the Balcoh Hal about the recovery of his son’s bullet-riddled body in Panjgur but said it still needed to be brought to Quetta, Reki’s native city.
According to the account provided by Qadeer, his son was allegedly abducted by persons in plain clothes on 13 February 2009 during the day time. “Over 12 to 15 people emerged from a group of vehicles and pulled Jalil Reki into a pickup while he was walking home from Friday prayers, near a girls’ school at Kechi Baig, on Sarriab Road in Quetta,” he said, and adding that the vehicles included two jeeps and two pickups with tinted windows and no registration plates.
Qadir Baloch was routinely sitting in hunger strike camp established outside Quetta Press Club when he was informed about confirmation of identity of his son’s dead body. “My son has sacrificed his life for the sake of his motherland Balochistan and Baloch nation, and I am proud of him. The bullet-riddled bodies will not deviate us from our struggle,” he said, and adding that so far more than 240 decomposed bodies of Baloch political leaders, lawyers, doctors and writers had been discovered sine June 2010. “All missing persons are my sons and I will continue my struggle for their release,” he added.
He alleged Jalil Reki and other missing persons were in the custody of intelligence agencies as Nawab Aslam Raisani had himself told the chairperson of Defence of Human Rights Pakistan Mrs. Amina Masood Janjua during a meeting in Quetta last year that Jalil was in the custody of intelligence agencies.
It may be mentioned here that VBMP has established hunger strike camp outside Quetta Press Club for past one and half year, and few weeks back Qadir Baloch was threatened by unidentified people to end the hunger strike camp, otherwise his son would be killed.
He said their strike camp was sole platform for the relatives of the missing Baloch people the hunger strike would continue until all the missing persons were recovered. He appealed United Nations and other humanitarian organizations to play their role for the recovery of rest of missing persons otherwise they would also be killed in same manner. (Source)

Culture of silence in elite media and human rights groups

Except a few activists and websites (e.g. Gul Zameen, The Baloch Hal, Pakistan Blogzine and LUBP), there is a culture of silence in Pakistan’s mainstream media and blogs on Baloch genocide by Pakistan army. LUBP has an informative archive on the Baloch nationalist movement.

Mainstream writers such as Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi, Irfan Siddiqi, Javed Chaudhry in Urdu media and Najam Sethi, Mosharraf Zaidi, Omar Waraich, Nasim Zehra, Tammy Haq, Abbas Nasir in English media pay hardly any attention to the Baloch genocide. Columnists such as Cyril Almeida and Ejaz Haider have written a few distorting and pro-establishment accounts of the Baloch genocide.

Unfortunately, barring one or two token reports or statements, human rights organisation too have maintained a culture of silence in line with the mainstream media. This is, however, with the exception of Asian Human Rights Commission which has often taken a bold and clear stance on issues such as mass murder of the Balochs, Pashtuns and Shias by Pakistan army and its various sub-organizations and proxies. For example, in April 2010, Asian Human Rights Commission had issued an urgent appeal (Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-053-2010) for immediate, safe release of Jalil Reki. The petition was of course ignored by the real rulers of Pakistan (the military state) and only a year and seven months after the appear, bullet riddled body of Jalil Reki was dumped.

American Friends of Balochistan

Dr. Wahid Baloch, president of one of the Baloch Society of North America, has strongly condemned the killing of top Baloch leader Jalil Reki describing it as part of the ongoing “kill and dump” policy of Frontier Corps in Balochistan. Dr. Baloch asked the world community to help stop the extrajudicial killing of Baloch people. “Intervention is long overdue and must be carried out without any further delay. It is time for the International community to break their silence and do something,” Dr. Baloch said.

In a letter to the U.S. State Department, American Friends of Balochistan activists Rashid Baloch of Dallas, Malik Baloch of Houston and Zahid Mir of Columbus called upon the U.S. to help the Baloch in the same way it helped the Libyan rebels. They drew the attention of the U.S. to the attacks on NATO oil tankers initiated by the Infamous Inter Services intelligence. “As such, the American Friends of Balochistan demands of the government of the United States to take immediate steps and measures to help the people of Balochistan.” (Source)

Conclusion

We condemn the extra-judicial killing of comrade Jalil Reki. We hope that Ambassador Sherry Rehman will use her influence in Pakistani and international media (through her friends Omar Waraich, Tammy Haq, Declan Walsh, Nasim Zehra, Mosharraf Zaidi, Ejaz Haider) and also human rights organizations (through her friends Ali Dayan Hasan, Zohra Yusuf) to highlight the extra-judicial murder of Jalil Reki at the hands of Pakistan army. While we do not have much hope from fake champions of Baloch human rights (e.g., Najam Sethi – political advisor of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Urooj Zia – ex-employee of Sherry Rehman, Mali Siraj Akbar - Qasida Khwan of former Ambassador to the USA), we hope that Sherry Rehman will liaise with genuine champions of Baloch rights (e.g., Abdul Qadeer Reki and other members of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, office bearers of Baloch nationalist parties) in order to take a first hand account of the case. We also hope that she will use her governmental influence so that a judicial inquiry into Reki’s murder could be ordered. In her capacity as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, we expect that Sherry Rehman will liaise with  the Balochs living in the US in order to highlight and redress their genuine grievance against the military state.

********************

APPENDICES

Statement by Asian Human Rights Commission
PAKISTAN: Two disappeared persons were killed in the custody of ISI
November 25, 2011

The bullet riddled bodies of two disappeared persons were found from different parts of the Balochistan province. The bodies have been identified as of Jalil Reki and Seth Younus Baloch both of whom were in the custody of country’s notorious intelligence agency, the ISI. Mr. Reki was arrested on February 13, 2009 (three years and three months) along with another activist Dr. Bashir Azeem on the charges of burning Pakistani flags and chanting slogan against the Pakistani flag. Since then their whereabouts were unknown.

In the case of Reki, the chief minister of Balochistan province himself said to a delegation of human rights activists that Jalil Reki had been arrested by the ISI and he refused to intervene. The delegation met the chief minister just after 15 days of his disappearance (on February 29,2009) and consisted of the chairperson of Defence of Human Rights Pakistan and prominent human rights defender, Mrs. Amina Masood Janjua, the president of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Mr. Nasrullah Bangulzai Baloch and human rights activist Mr. Muhammad Zafar. Later these persons produced their affidavit before the Supreme Court that Reki is in the custody of ISI and chief minister of Balochistan be asked to confirm his statement but when he was asked to submit his evidence he had not produced it in the court. Please find the affidavits here; affidavit-1, affidavit-2, and affidavit-3.

Mr. Jalil Ahmed Reki Baloch, 35, was abducted by persons in plain clothes on 13 February 2009 during the day. Eye witnesses report that 12 to 15 people emerged from a group of vehicles and pulled Jailil Reki into a pickup truck while he was walking home from Friday prayers, near a girls’ school at Chowk Kechi on Saryab Road in Quetta. The vehicles included two jeeps and two pickups with tinted windows and no registration plates.

After his abduction the police refused to file a case against the ISI and it was only after one year of his disappearance that the police filed the first information (FIR) when the Supreme Court ordered all police stations to file FIRs as requested in such cases. The High Court of Balochistan had not acted on the constitutional petition from until the FIR was submitted in court. The court has shown its incapability to face the powerful intelligence agencies. The FIR holds two persons responsible for Jalil’s abduction: Major General Saleem Nawaz, Director General of the Frontier Corp (FC) in Balochistan and Brigadier Saad Khattak, the then-head of the ISI in the province. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-053-2010/

Reki’s uncle, Ali Asghar Bagulzai, was also arrested by the military’s intelligence agencies in 2001 and since then he is missing. The then governor and military commander of the province have confirmed that he was with the military but yet his whereabouts are unknown. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-014-2011/

Since January 2010 to to-date more than 315 bodies of missing persons have been found in Balochistan. The kill and dump policy of the security forces in Balochistan has been increased since one year. The family members of the disappeared persons told the supreme court this year that whenever we hear that a dead body is found they rush to see it whether that body is of missing person from the their family. Some militant groups are also taking shelter behind the kill and dump policy of the intelligence agencies and operate to take revenge from other groups and ethnic communities.

The Pakistan has become a dysfunctional state and no rule of law is being observed. The military and its different organizations treat themselves above the law and supra-constitutional. The courts are basically scared of the revenge of military and its Para-military forces that is why they never go probe in the allegations of involvement of military officers in the abduction, disappearances and extra-judicial killings. The family members of the disappeared persons have boycotted the court proceedings as their efforts to seek justice from the courts are futile and they have announced in the Supreme Court they would not attend their petitions filed in the courts.

The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government and high command of the Pakistan Army to register the cases of extrajudicial cases and torture against Major General Saleem Nawaz, Director General of the Frontier Corp (FC) in Balochistan and Brigadier Saad Khattak,against whom the FIR of abduction of Jalil Reki was registered in February 2010. The chief minister of Balochistan should also be prosecuted for being complicit in disappearances and extra-judicial killings of persons in the custody of law enforcement agencies.

http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-182-2011

ریکی کی لاش گھر پہنچی اور راز فاش ہوگیا
ریاض سہیل
بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، کراچی
آخری وقت اشاعت: جمعـء 25 نومبر 2011

عبدالقدیر بلوچ گزشتہ تین سالوں سے اپنے ساڑہ پانچ سالہ پوتے بیورغ سے جھوٹ بولتے رہے کہ ان کے والد کراچی میں کام کرتے ہیں۔ لیکن جب عبدالجلیل ریکی کی لاش گھر پہنچی تو یہ راز فاش ہوگیا۔
عبدالجلیل ریکی تیرہ فروری دو ہزار نو کو کوئٹہ کی سریاب روڈ سے لاپتہ ہوگئے تھے۔ ان کے والد عبدالقدیر بلوچ کبھی کوئٹہ تو کبھی اسلام آباد اور کبھی کراچی پریس کلب کے باہر بھوک ہڑتال پر بیٹھے ہوئے نظر آتے تھے۔

تین سال کے بعد جمعرات کو عبدالجلیل ریکی کی لاش ایران کے سرحدی علاقے مند سے ملی۔ عبدالقدیر کو جب اطلاع ملی تو وہ کوئٹہ پریس کلب کے باہر بھوک ہڑتال پر تھے۔

عبدالقدیر نے بی بی سی کو بتایا کہ مند کے مقامی لوگوں نے ان سے رابطہ کیا اور بتایا کہ وہاں سے دو لاشیں ملی ہیں جن میں سے ایک کی شکل عبدالجلیل سے ملتی ہے۔ یہ بات سنتے ہی عبدالقدیر نے اپنے دوستوں کو مند کے لیے روانہ کردیا جہنوں نے تربت ہپستال کے مردہ خانے میں جاکر تصدیق کی کہ یہ لاش عبدالجلیل کی ہی ہے۔

حقیقت چھپاتے رہے
ساڑھے پانچ سالہ بیورغ کے دل میں سوراخ ہے۔ ان کے دادا عبدالقدیر ڈاکٹروں کے مشورے کے تحت والد کے اغواء کی خبر اپنے پوتے سے چھپاتے رہے تاکہ اسے کوئی صدمہ نہ پہنچے۔ وہ اسے ہمیشہ یہ بتاتے تھے کہ آپ کے والد کراچی میں کام کرتے ہیں۔
قلات کے علاقے سوراب میں جمعہ کو بلوچستان کی آزادی کے نعروں کی گونج میں جلیل کی تدفین کی گئی۔ تین سال میں پہلی دفعہ، بیورغ نے اپنے والد کو مردہ حالت میں دیکھا۔

ساڑھے پانچ سالہ بیورغ کے دل میں سوراخ ہے۔ ان کے دادا عبدالقدیر ڈاکٹروں کے مشورے کے تحت والد کے اغواء کی خبر اپنے پوتے سے چھپاتے رہے تاکہ اسے کوئی صدمہ نہ پہنچے۔ وہ اسے ہمیشہ یہ بتاتے تھے کہ آپ کے والد کراچی میں کام کرتے ہیں۔
عبدالقدیر نے بتایا ’اگرچہ لوگوں نے روکا مگر آج میں نے ہاتھ پکڑ کر بیورغ کو والد کی خون میں ڈوبی ہوئی لاش دکھائی تاکہ وہ یہ تکلیف اپنے ساتھ لے کر بڑا ہو اور اس کے اندر نفرت بڑھے۔ جب وہ بڑا ہوا تو اپنے والد کے نقش قدم پر چلے۔‘
جلیل ریکی ایک بینک میں ملازم تھے۔ کچھ عرصے بعد وہ ملازمت چھوڑ کر نواب اکبر بگٹی کی جماعت جمہوری وطن پارٹی میں شامل ہوگئے۔ نواب کی ہلاکت کے بعد ان کی وابستگی نواب کے پوتے براہمداغ بگٹی سے ہوگئی اور انہیں بلوچ ریپبلکن پارٹی کا مرکزی سیکریٹری اطلاعات مقرر کیا گیا۔

عبدالقدیر نے بتایا کہ ان کے بیٹے کے سینے پر گولی کا نشان تھا اور یہ گولی آرپار ہوئی تھی۔ گولی کے باعث ان کے سینے سے مسلسل خون بہہ رہا تھا۔ ’ان کی تازہ شیو کی ہوئی تھی اور وہ ہی کپڑے پہنے تھے جو گمشدگی کے وقت پہنے ہوئے تھے۔ علما نے انہیں شہید قرار دیا، اس لیے بغیر غسل اور کفن کے ان ہی کپڑوں میں تدفین کی گئی۔‘

“ان کی تازہ شیو کی ہوئی تھی اور وہ ہی کپڑے پہنے تھے جو گمشدگی کے وقت پہنے ہوئے تھے۔ علما نے انہیں شہید قرار دیا، اس لیے بغیر غسل اور کفن کے ان ہی کپڑوں میں تدفین کی گئی۔‘”
عبدالقدیر

بتیس سالہ عبدالجلیل کی گمشدگی کے بعد سے لے کر اب تک اُن کے والد عبدالقدیر بھوک ہڑتال اور احتجاج کرتے رہے ہیں۔ وفاقی حکومت کی جانب سے بلوچستان پیکیج کے تحت لاپتہ افراد کی بازیابی کے لیے بنائے گئے کمیشن کے روبرو بھی پیش ہوئے مگر نہ انصاف ملا نہ بیٹا۔

عبدالقدیر لاپتہ بلوچ نوجوانوں کی بازیابی کے لیے بنائی گئی تنظیم ’وائس فور مسنگ پیپلز‘ کے نائب چیئرمین بھی ہیں۔ ان کا کہنا ہے کہ جلیل کی لاش ملنے کے بعد بھی ان کا احتجاج نہیں رکے گا بلکہ یہ سانسیں رکنے تک جاری رہیگا۔
ان کا کہنا تھا کہ انہیں امید تو نہیں تھی کہ بیٹا زندہ واپس آئے گا مگر پھر بھی وہ یہ آس لگائے بیٹھے تھے کہ ایمنٹسی انٹرنیشنل یا انسانی حقوق کی تنطیموں کے دباؤ میں آکر ہوسکتا کہ ان کے بیٹے کو رہا کردیا جائے۔
’تین سال تک انہیں قید کیوں رکھتے ہو، جب انہیں اٹھاتے ہیں تو انہیں شہید کردیں، چھوڑدیں یا پھر عدالت میں پیش کریں۔ تین سال عقبوت خانے میں رکھ کر پھر کیوں مار دیتے ہیں۔‘

دو سال قبل تئیس نومبر کو پارلیمنٹ میں آغاز حقوق بلوچستان پیکیج پیش کیا گیا تھا، جس میں لاپتہ افراد کی فہرست کو ظاہر کرنے کے وعدے کیے گئے تھے۔ اس پیکیج کی دوسری سالگرہ پر عبدالقدیر کو ان کے بیٹے عبدالجلیل ریکی کی لاش ملی ہے۔
عبدالقدیر کا کہنا ہے کہ انہیں انصاف کی کوئی توقع نہیں ہے یہاں ہر بلوچ کے ساتھ زیادتی ہو رہی ہے، ایسی صورتحال میں وہ آزادی کی بات نہ کریں تو کیا کریں، ماریں اور مریں نہیں تو کیا کریں۔

Source

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