Balochistan Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) was on Tuesday accused of killing three missing persons in a “fake encounter” in Kharan a day before.

The allegation was levelled by Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) chairman Nasrullah Baloch.

A press release from the CTD said that it had received information that some “terrorists” of the banned Balochistan Liberation Army group were present in Kharan’s outskirts and possessed a large quantity of weapons and ammunition, with an aim to plan a major terrorist activity.

The press release stated that subsequently a team of its own personnel and a security institution was constituted to locate the possible hideout.

The intelligence teams located the hideout and determined the presence of seven “terrorists” led by Ashfaq Ahmed alias Jameel. The joint team then planned an operation and was met by indiscriminate firing.

The press release said that as an act of self defence, the operation team retaliated and the exchange of fire continued for an hour, during which, Jameel and two others managed to escape.

The CTD said that its team tried to chase the fleeing “terrorists” but was unsuccessful in making arrests due to poor visibility and mountainous landscape.

It said that the bodies of four terrorists were recovered from the scene, and they where identified as Salaal Ahmed, Shukrallah, Waseem Sajjad and Fareed.

Various weapons and ammunition were also recovered from the spot, it added.

However, while talking to Dawn.com, Nasrullah, the rights group chairman, contended that the killings were not the result of an operation but was a staged encounter.

He said that three of the four individuals killed by the CTD had been identified, with one of them being Tabish Waseem Baloch.

He said that Tabish was a leader of Baloch Students Organisation-Pajjar who was allegedly picked up from Khuzdar on June 9, 2021, and his case was even forwarded to the provincial and federal governments, along with the federal cabinet’s subcommittee on missing persons.

Nasrullah said that Tabish’s family had identified his body and the other two were Fareed and Salaal, who were picked up from Quetta on September 28 and October 6 respectively.

“The issue of these two missing persons was also raised through VBMP’s platform and the concerned authorities were informed,” the VBMP chairman said.

He urged that the VBMP had no issue if any state criminal was punished in accordance with the law, adding, however, that “killing missing persons in encounters is against the Constitution and a serious violation of human rights, which we strictly condemn and demand that this brutal practice be stopped.”

Veteran politician Afrasiab Khattak also said that there must be a “credible” judicial inquiry into the incident.

“Killing prisoners even during a war is a war crime. There is no military solution for the political problems in Balochistan,” he said.

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