Disappearances bother Balochistan

By Malik Siraj Akbar

QUETTA: The Balochistan government has decided to covertly engage in negotiations with the federal government over the illegal disappearances of people in the province.

Sources told Daily Times that the Balochistan government had decided to lodge a ‘soft protest’ over the increasing reports of citizens allegedly being abducted by intelligence agencies. “The provincial government intends to send Finance Minister Ehsan Shah to Islamabad to discuss the increasing number of illegal detentions in Balochistan with Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao,” said a source asking not to be named. Daily Times also learned that in a recent telephone chat with Sherpao, Mr Shah had pleaded the case of two people, one a driver and the other a cable operator, reported missing from his constituency. A source said that Sherpao had assured Shah of getting one of the missing free, but Shah demanded both’s release.

“No innocent citizen is in custody of the agencies,” said Governor Owais Ghani. About Ali Asghar Bungulzai, a tailor from Quetta, who has been missing since October 18, 2001, Ghani said he had moved from pillar to post to find him but to no avail. “The chief of an intelligence agency had admitted in front of Hafiz Hussain Ahmed that Ali was in their custody,” said Daad Mohammad, Ali’s elder brother. Hafiz confirmed Daad’s claim and said that he had also been told to send some clothes for Ali.

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