ISLAMABAD, May 10: “On Monday, Karachi’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested three of our missing boys – Saifullah Bugti, Shams Bugti and Abdul Ghaffar Bugti – and wrongfully accused them of membership in the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and criminal activities.
The CID accusation is a complete and utter fabrication,” says Abdul Qadeer Rekhi Baloch, the Vice Chairman of the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), in front of the National Press Club in Islamabad on Thursday.
The CID has accused the three boys of providing rockets and ammunition on behalf of the BLA to the People’s Amn Committee (PAC) – the group behind recent unrest in Karachi’s Lyari.
“The young boys are actually MA students at Balochistan University. They were abducted from Quetta in January this year.
They have no prior history of contact with any kind of overt political or agitational activity. They have no link to any militant organisation, least of all ‘terrorist’ activities in Lyari. Their only crime appears to be that they hail from the Bugti tribe. The tendency for government high-ups to view every single Baolch with suspicion is condemnable,” Mr Qadeer asserted.
According to Mr. Qadeer and the VBMP, the parents of the three young boys have appeared in recent hearing led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in Quetta.
“Numerous public demands are on record calling for the production of these three students,” Mr. Qadeer explained. “Their decision to produce these boys like this – where they arrest them for being members of the BLA and link them to the unrest in Lyari is preposterous. They’re playing some sort of drama,” says Mr. Qadeer.
According to the VBMP, the state uses the language of ‘anti-terrorism’ “to cover up its inability to provide peace and dignity to ordinary people in Balochistan, Karachi and the rest of the country.
“We have been camping in front of the National Press Club for 11 days, and will be packing up on Friday. No one has really visited us. We have only received threats from general-types,” says Mr. Qadeer, before saying that though he was happy that some media outlets had given them media coverage, he still felt that there was a long way to go.
“It is important to remember, to record, that our people are subjected to state terror, threats, abductions, killings and wrongful accusations. This pushes us into a corner. In the end, we don’t know what to do other than push back. We become upset and angry. We feel betrayed by the state that claims to represent us and protect us,” says Mr. Qadeer.