If historians and journalists were waiting for a haunting quote from Balochistan’s chief minister, here it comes. Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, the chief minister, astounded everyone in Khuzdar during a press-talk by saying that most of the missing persons had “deliberately gone underground to malign the country’s intelligence agencies”. If former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s infamous quote, “it is not the 70s that you will hit and run…We will hit you in a way that you don’t know what hit you”, has become one of the most widely quoted statements of a man who devastated Balochistan, one can assertively predict that this statement of Chief Minister Raisani will go down in the history as the most disgraceful proclamation ever made by a Baloch chief minister.
Expectedly, a very emotional reaction has come from the families of the missing persons in response to the chief minister’s statement. If the government cannot deliver justice to the families of the missing persons due to its inefficiency and powerlessness to check the influence of the secrete services then it should not at least hurt the sentiments of the mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and sons of the missing persons. Once living a dignified and peaceful life inside their homes, these Baloch mothers are seen languishing from one press club to the other while holding the photographs of their beloved ones. Politics is one thing but no one, including the chief minister, has the right to insult human feelings to give a coverup to his government’s inefficiencies.
When the cat was out of the bag during Musharraf government, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Ifthakar Mohammad Chaudhary took suo moto notice of several missing persons’ cases. It was in fact a very selective process of dispensing justice because no Baloch gained relief out of the initiatives taken by the CJP. Yet, the CJP was sacked by Musharraf on the issue of missing persons which manifested the omnipotence of the forces that are masterminding these cases of disappearance.
At another stage, former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, confirmed with the media in Turbat (Balochistan) that some four thousand people were missing in Balochistan. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also quoted these figures in its comprehensive fact-finding report on Balochistan.