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Watch: Balochistan rages over discovery of bodies and a minister’s private prison

Balochistan minister for Communication and Works Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran is close to the Pakistani army (Photo: Twitter)

Pakistan’s alienated province Balochistan has erupted once again after three bodies, a woman and her two sons, were found in a well in Barkhan area. Hundreds of people from the Marri tribe staged a protest in capital Quetta on Tuesday demanding action against Balochistan minister for Communication and Works Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, allegedly maintaining a private prison.

The minister’s residence was raided on Tuesday night by the police. In his defence, Khetran said: “I have not kept anyone in prison and such allegations are always levelled whenever elections are near”. He called the allegation a conspiracy, adding that the three bodies were found 1.5 km away from his native village while he had been in Quetta.

The minister is believed to be close to the Pakistani army which has been carrying on a military campaign in the province to tackle the Baloch community that seeks independence from Pakistan. The Baloch feel exploited due to Pakistan’s dual policy of exploiting local natural resources and also keeping the people underdeveloped and poor.


In October last year too, Pakistan was abuzz when over 200 rotting bodies were found on the roof of the Nishtar hospital in Punjab province. Activists had alleged that the bodies belonged to the victims of enforced disappearances who had been tortured in custody and killed by Pakistani agencies. Though the government asked for an investigation, nothing was heard about the bodies as the news was suppressed by the Pakistani media.

The bodies of 40-year-old Granaz and her sons Muhammad Anwar and Abdul Qadir had bullet wounds in the head and had torture marks. After hospital investigations and prayers, the Marri community brought the bodies to capital Quetta asking that Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif pay them a visit.

The Baloch community, which was already incensed over the abduction of a woman activist Mahal Baloch last week got another reason to allege human rights abuse by Pakistan. Baloch activists are circulating videos of Granaz, in which she was seen pleading to save their lives. Reports also say that five more relatives of her family are being held in the private jail of the minister.

Meanwhile protests continue in various parts of Balochistan over the abduction of Mahal Baloch. Pakistan has been claiming that she is a possible suicide bomber as she was caught with a suicide vest and explosives. The Baloch nationalists have claimed that Mahal had been abducted forcibly from her home and the allegations against her are baseless.

Also read: Mahal Baloch’s abduction ignites fresh protests against enforced disappearances in Pakistan