Islamabad, Pakistan: A recent wave of terror attacks over security forces in the Machh region of Balochistan have again factually disproved claims of separatist organizations over “missing persons” because some of the so-called “missing persons” were either killed during encounters with security forces in Machh or were killed during an attack of Pakistani forces inside Iranian Balochistan.
“Claims of Baloch fundamentalists like Mahrang Baloch who are opposing the state of Pakistan are contrary to facts because several terrorists killed in recent attacks are among those who have been counted as “missing persons” by Mahrang Baloch. Additionally, terrorists killed inside Iranian Balochistan are also among those who have been “missing” but actually operating against Pakistan forces while living abroad. Abdul Wadud Satakzai, who was included in the missing persons was killed in an operation by the security forces in the Mach attack. Earlier, terrorist Imtiaz Ahmed son of Raza Muhammad was also included in the list of missing persons and was also killed during the operation of security forces. The sister of the dead terrorist Abdul Wadud Satakzai has been counting her brother as a missing person since August 12, 2021. There is a possibility that families of terrorists have no information about what their sons and brothers are doing and elements like Mahrang Baloch are exploiting their pains and innocence”, revealed a journalist from Quetta with a request of not publishing his name for security reasons as impartial journalists and writers are already at the target list of terrorists in Balochistan as well as in KPK province.
While talking to DND News Agency, a former security officer who served in Balochistan was of the view that the last year could be considered “the deadliest” for law enforcement agencies in Balochistan. With the condition of protecting his identity as he is still not authorized to interact with media, the officer claimed:
“Whenever the state of Pakistan makes efforts to promote peace and security, anti-national elements like Mahrang Baloch immediately become active and start playing their role, possibly assigned by someone else from outside the country. Regrettably, Pakistani mainstream media and even mainstream political parties do not stand with brave sons who have been fighting and sacrificing their lives in the remotest areas of the country. If you talk about the missing persons, I can assure you that most of the missing persons are those who have been killed in Pakistan’s border areas of Afghanistan and Syria in the past two decades. We are bargaining future of our families by giving our lives to protect the future of the country but the media is portraying us otherwise and politicians are doing their politics over our sacrifices. Is it justice what we are receiving from the nation while giving our lives?”, questioned the brave retired officer who wished to remain a nameless son of motherland.
Last year, former commander of BLA Sarfaraz Bengalzai after leaving the path of separatism held a press conference in which he exposed false propaganda in the name of the missing person which is being spread by the anti-national elements.
He acknowledged that the BLA movement while sitting in Afghanistan had been involved in killing innocent people, abducting people, and investing foreign funding to radicalize Baloch youth. He also indicated that several missing persons were either those who were killed inside Afghanistan in intra-conflicts or were killed while crossing the Pak-Afghan border.
It may also be remembered that Gulzar Imam Shanbe, another militant leader who had been the head of his outfit expressed his guilt and demanded the state to allow him to leave aimless anti-state activities. Gulzar Imam like Sarfraz Bangalzai had been allowed by the state to forget the past and move on to the future where they can be useful citizens of Pakistan. Both former commanders explained in detail that propaganda of anti-national elements is based on lies, misinformation, and statements spread through social media without verification leading to distortion of facts.
The “Missing Persons” has become a buzzword to vilify and defame state institutions because of several reasons including heavy foreign investments for slandering Pakistan’s Army. However, as far as missing persons are concerned, the Commission for Missing Persons had been functioning since March 1, 2011, but with a snail-like pace and the reputation of his Chairman Justice (retd), Javed Iqbal also helped anti-state elements to make this Commission controversial. According to the data of this commission, the number of registered cases is 10,014, the number of decided cases is 7,749 and the number of outstanding cases is 2,265, whose disappearance has not been proved yet.
An article published last year under the title of “An impartial and academic review of Human Rights issues in Balochistan“, claims that protests in Baluchistan are placing this land on the global news map and the propagation evolves, as before, around the dictions of human rights but this attempt is deeper than before because ultra-nationalism is being used to trigger the “right of self-determination” concept therefore leaving no doubt that certain forces are behind those who wish to disintegrate (God forbids) Pakistan. Regrettably, innocent citizens get easily trapped through the slogan of ultra-nationalism and history has testified to this fact.
The writer of this thought-provoking article indicates that “Confirmation Bias” comes into play as ultra-nationalists selectively interpret information that aligns with their beliefs. They may downplay or ignore evidence of their group’s actions violating the law, focusing instead on instances that support their ideology. They can justify their actions as survival and fighting the oppressor and can also face cognitive dissonance arising from the disparity between their actions and their nationalistic ideals, individuals may rationalize their anti-state extreme behavior as necessary for the greater good of the nation.