The government of Balochistan on Wednesday wrote a letter to the registrar of the Balochistan High Court (BHC) seeking the nomination of a judge for conducting a judicial inquiry into the deaths during a recent operation conducted in Ziarat.

On July 16, nine terrorists were killed and a havildar was martyred during an operation against the killers of Lt Col Laiq Baig Mirza, an army officer who was kidnapped while travelling to Quetta from Ziarat along with his cousin, Umer Javed.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), five of the nine terrorists belonged to the proscribed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).

However, BNP-Mengal, National Party and some Baloch nationalist groups had claimed that the five militants killed in the operation were actually missing persons and that they had gone missing after having been picked up allegedly by security forces.

Last week, Adviser to Balochistan Chief Minister on Home and Provincial Disaster Management Authority Mir Ziaullah Langove had stated that the five of the nine killed belonged to a terrorist organisation. However, he had also said their names were included in the missing persons’ list prepared by the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons organisation.

Subsequently, the Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs department wrote a letter dated July 27, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, to the BHC registrar stating: “ […] Government of Balochistan intends to conduct a ‘judicial inquiry’ by a honourable judge of High Court of Balochistan into the killing of persons in Ziarat operation under ‘The Balochistan Tribunal of Inquiry Ordinance 1969’ […].“

The terms of reference of the judicial inquiry will be to “ascertain the status of persons killed in Ziarat operation, whether they were under custody or otherwise”.

“It is, therefore, requested that nomination of a honourable judge, High Court of Balochistan, may kindly be conveyed to this department the subject purpose,” the letter said.

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