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PAKISTAN: Zarina Marri has been missing along with 429 persons since December 2005;The life of a disappeared student leader is in danger–>AHRC

February 8, 2010 2 comments

After the 18th February 2008 elections it was expected that the newly elected government would try to improve the human rights situation and give some relief to the families of victims. But this proved to be another shattered dream of people blinded by their faith and hope, which soon turned into disbelief on the system for many.

It is amazing that in the time of elected government with new army chief and intelligence chiefs no actions were taken against those involved in these illegal and inhuman activities during the former dictator’s rule.

The statements by the Asian Human Rights Commission given below raises more questions about the seriousness of our government to solve the issue of missing persons.

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PAKISTAN: Zarina Marri has been missing along with 429 persons since December 2005

Source : http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1855/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-020-2009
January 23, 2009

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: Zarina Marri has been missing along with 429 persons since December 2005

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received further details in the case of Ms. Zarina Marri, a 23-year-old schoolteacher from Balochistan province, who has been held incommunicado in an army torture cell at Karachi, the capital of Sindh province and used as a sex slave, please see our statement; http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/1843/

The officials of the education department of Kahan have disclosed that Ms. Marri was a teacher at a government middle school in Kahan, Kohlu district, she was registered as Zarina Bi Bi and she was trained as a Junior Vocational Teacher. She was among those people who were transferred from Kohlu, Kahan, Sibi, Hernai, Much, Kohlo, Dera Bugti, Sabsilla, Bhambhoor, Loti, Dhaman, Pir Koh, Spin, Tangi, Babar Kach, Tandori and Sangan of the Balochistan province during December 2005 and July 2006 when the military government of the then President/General Musharraf was using aerial bombardments to defuse the nationalist movement of Balochistan against the construction of cantonment areas. On 14 December 2005, paramilitary troops accused the people of the area of firing eight rockets at a paramilitary base on the outskirts of the town of Kohlu, a stronghold of the Marri tribe, while President Pervez Musharraf was visiting it. After the visit of President/General Musharraf, within three days of the rocket firing incident, the paramilitary forces began attacking vast areas including the Kahan. It is reported in the media that the military government used the Pakistan air force for bombarding the area. During the fighting between local nationalist militants and the government forces particularly, due to the aerial bombardments, the local population started migrating to other places including to Punjab and Sindh provinces. Please also see urgent appeal of AHRC;
http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2006/1872/ dated July 21, 2006.

After some days around 429 persons left the Kahan, district Kohlu, and migrated towards Dera Ghazi Khan district, Punjab province, Zarina Marri and her parents were also among the caravan. Since then there is no trace of the caravan of 429 persons. After some months people tried to search the missing people and some army officers deputed at the Kohlu district told the people of the area that so many persons were killed in the fighting between the government forces and militants and also in aerial bombardments. But after the revelation from Mr. Munir Mengal, managing director of Baloch language television channel, to Reporters without Frontiers (RSF) that Zarina Baloch was in military torture cell at Karachi and was forced in to sexual slavery, the concern of the people of Kohlu, Kahan, and Dera Bugti has risen about the people of the 429 persons which includes more than 70 women, including many young women, who may be used as sex slaves by the Pakistan military.

The government of Pakistan has still not initiated any serious efforts to investigate the case of Ms. Zarina Marri, despite, of continuous demonstrations in several parts of the country including, Islamabad, capital of country for the recovery of Zarina Marri from the military torture cell at Karachi and halting the business of making young Baloch women work as sex slaves by the Pakistan army. The government’s ignorance of the serious crimes by the military officers during Musharraf’s regime is evidence for the people in the country that the present government still does not have the power to investigate the military misdoings.
The case of Miss Zarina Marri has ignited the narrow nationalist and secessionist feelings of the ethnic Baloch nation which can easily turn into a bloody mutiny against the state if the cases of sex slavery by the military torture cells are not investigated. The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the government to initiate a probe for the recovery of 429 people who are missing since December 2005. The government should also bring the persons who made Marina Marri work as a sex slave before the law regardless of how powerful they are or whether they are military persons.

For further information please see:

http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2006statements/708/

http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2006statements/715/
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PAKISTAN: The life of a disappeared student leader is in danger
Source : http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/2400/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-022-2010
February 4, 2010

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: The life of a disappeared student leader is in danger

The life of a student leader who was arrested by state intelligence officials is in danger. It is apprehended that he might have been killed. The government of Balochistan says that he was released on January 22, 2010, but his family members have said that he has not yet returned home. They have inquired after him at all local police stations, asking if he was booked under another case, but have not been able to find him.

Mr. Zakir Majeed, a student leader, was allegedly abducted by state intelligence agents on June 8, 2009 from Mastung, near Quetta. Majeed is the senior vice chairperson of the Baloch Student Organization, Azad. His alleged abductors drove up in two cars without number plates and asked the young man a few questions, saying that they were intelligence agents.They took Majeed away with them in their cars without making any charges. One car was a Toyota Vego, the other a Toyota Surf SSR. After UN Special Rapporteurs on Disappearances wrote letters about Mr. Majeed’s disappearance, his release was announced by the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) For more details of the case, please see the following link, dated June 10, 2009; http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2009/3175/.

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has taken up Mr. Majeed’s case after the submission of the WGEID form by the AHRC. After an intervention was made by the WGEID, the government announced on January 22, 2010 that Mr. Majeed had been released. The Balochistan High Court also ordered that an FIR (First Investigation Report – a legal document for police investigation) be filed for Mr. Majeed. Until this point, the police refused to register the young man’s disappearance, and a case of habeas corpus was up for regular hearing before the High Court of Balochistan. On January 27, 2010, a police official at Khuzdar Police Station of Balochistan, asked the younger brother of the victim, Mr. Waheed Majeed, to file the FIR before the Mastung Police Station. He did so, but the FIR was not entertained. After an intervention was made by higher-ranked police officers, the FIR was finally lodged. On February 2, 2010 Mr. Aslam Bizenjo, Provincial Minister for Irrigation telephoned Mr. Waheed to inform him that according to the list provided by the NCMC, his brother had been released. The Provincial Minister then asked him to speak with Mr. Akbar Durrani, the Home Secretary of the Balochistan government for further details. The Home Secretary confirmed that Mr. Zakir Majeed had been released on January 22, according to the NCMC list published on its website.

These conflicting pieces of information about Mr. Zakir Majeed’s disappearance have created a great deal of confusion in the minds of Mr. Majeed’s family and the human rights activists who are working for his release. In many past cases, the bodies of the disappeared have been found abandoned on roadsides after courts have ordered for their release, or family members of the disappeared person in question testified in courts that the arrest was done by intelligence agents.

The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the provincial government of Balochistan and federal government of Pakistan to secure the safe release of Mr. Zakir Majeed immediately. Since government officials have already confirmed Mr. Majeed’s safe release, we call upon these officials to be held accountable for these confirmations of safety, and urge these officials to take direct action to reunite Mr. Majeed with his family.

Enforced disappearances of civilians and the perpetual lack of thorough investigation by state officials has become so common that the sanctity and dignity of each human life is being ruthlessly compromised in the name of personal or professional gain. The AHRC calls upon the government of Pakistan to take a strong stand against corruption at all levels of its justice system and take steps towards rebuilding the rule of law in the country.

Gates confirms Blackwater presence in Pakistan

January 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Source :http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=116754&sectionid=351020401

Press TV

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirms that American security firms Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater, and DynCorp have been operating in Pakistan.

The two firms are operating in private capacities, Gates said on Thursday, adding that the companies were abiding by Pakistani laws.

However, he said that if the Pakistani parliament votes for a ban on the presence of the firms, the US government would comply with it.

Blackwater won notoriety for having gone on a shooting rampage in a heavily trafficked Baghdad intersection in September 2007 killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians.

Blackwater Worldwide changed its name to Xe Services LLC in February 2009, after it came under international criticism for its disregard for civilian lives.

Two former Blackwater mercenaries have also been charged with the 2009 murder of two Afghan civilians in Kabul.

Asad Durani, former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had earlier told Press TV that the notorious firm, Blackwater, was involved in the deadly drone attacks on Pakistani territories, which usually result in civilian casualties.

“I learned somewhere that these people are employed certainly for the logistic support at the drone bases. That is understandable,” Durani said earlier in January.

Gates, meanwhile, said that Washington is considering sharing its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology with Pakistan.

“These UAVs are useful and we have a budget for them,” Gates said in an interview with a privately-run Pakistani television on Thursday.

He claimed that the drones had proved productive in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We are working together with Pakistan army in this connection,” Gates said, adding that discussions were underway with Pakistan military leadership on technical matters in this regard, a Press TV correspondent reported late Thursday.

Defense officials in his delegation later said that the US will provide 12 Shadow drones to Pakistan.

The Shadow drone is about 3.3 meters (11 feet) long and has a wing-span of 4.2 meters (14 feet), with sensors and cameras feeding video images back to operators on the ground.

Human Rights, Missing Persons And The Elected Government

January 12, 2010 1 comment

Justice Javed Iqbal in his statement few days ago rightly pointed out to the fact that cases like missing persons pose real threat to democracy not the verdicts of Independent judiciary.  In his statements he further criticized the performance of the government institutions. He said no government institution is working properly and the system is on the verge of disaster. He further said someone had to intervene to save the system and huge cry was raised every time when court does it.

The issue of missing persons is considered as the main reason behind the attempted removal of CJP Iftikhar Chaudhary twice by Musharraf’s government. According to HRCP estimates there are 198 reported missing persons since 2007 out of which 66 are from the deprived province of Baluchistan. The estimated figure of unreported cases is much higher. In a talk show recently Asma Jehangir, Chairperson of  HRCP told that in 2009 there were 30 new cases of missing persons came to their knowledge.

After the 18th February 2008 elections it was expected that the newly elected government would try to improve the human rights situation and give some relief to the victim families. But this proved to be another shattered dream of people blinded by their faith and hope which soon turned into disbelief on the system for many.

Not only that all the people missing are not recovered but this heinous crime of illegally abducting the people is going on and hurdles are being created to trace the already missing. In a recent television interview Dr. Fawzia Siddiqi , sister of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi said the real danger from the release of Dr. Aafia is felt by those who are part of this evil network which kidnaps people and sell them. It is amazing that in the time of elected government with new army chief and intelligence chiefs no actions were taken against those involved in these illegal and inhuman activities during the former dictators rule. Government is using delaying tactics in Dr. Aafia case and has showed it’s inability to take the case in International Court of Justice.

In war hit areas of NWFP the situation is probably worse than other areas as there is no free media access and also judicial authority is almost none in many areas due to military control. Not only young but old and aged are being picked up by the security institutions in the name of war against terror. In a case filed by Syed Iqbal Kazmi, representative in Pakistan of Human Right Commission South Asia (HRCSA), an eighty years old man Wazir was picked up by Mohmand Rifles on September 2, 2009.Mohmand Rifles personnel picked up Wazir alleging that his son was involved in terrorist activities. In another case police and intelligence agencies in a joint raid picked up Usman Ali on January 29, 2009 from his house on suspicion of having relations with Taliban. Baluchistan is also facing similar situation though 20 of missing persons were released on political pressure  But still there are many including people like Pasand Khan Mandai from Baluchistan Worker’s Party were picked up by agencies during 2009 and their cases are still pending.

The statement by Justice Javed Iqbal clearly reflects the growing sentiments in Pakistani Society about the current democracy. Justice Javed Iqball said,” What type of democracy do we have wherein fundamental rights of the people could not be ensured?” The remarks were given while he was heading a three-member bench of the apex court, hearing petitions of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and others.

It seems that current so called democratic government has completely failed to protect the rights of our people. The situation demands real seriousness and sincerity, it is already too late. People are already fed up with inflation, corruption, load shedding and same old deceptions and lies. Government needs to take some real measures to rectify it’s mistakes and the mistakes committed during the time of the former dictator Musharraf otherwise things will go to the point of no return.

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Blackwater Loses a Job for the C.I.A.–>NYT

December 13, 2009 1 comment

Blackwater Loses a Job for the C.I.A.

NewyorkTimes

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/us/politics/12blackwater.html

By MARK MAZZETTI

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has terminated a contract with the security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide that allowed the company to load bombs on C.I.A. drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, intelligence officials said Friday.

The contract gave employees with the company an operational role in one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most significant covert programs, which has killed dozens of militants with Predator and Reaper drones. The company’s involvement highlighted the extent to which the C.I.A. had outsourced critical jobs to private companies since the 9/11 attacks.

The contract with the company, now called Xe Services, was canceled this year by Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, according to a C.I.A. spokesman. In August, The New York Times first revealed the existence of the contract, which was run by a division of the company called Blackwater Select, which handles classified contracts.

George Little, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that Mr. Panetta had ordered that the agency’s employees take over the jobs from Xe employees at the remote drone bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that Mr. Panetta had also ordered a review of all contracts with the company.

“At this time, Blackwater is not involved in any C.I.A. operations other than in a security or support role,” Mr. Little said.

The disclosure about the terminated contract comes a day after The Times reported that Blackwater employees had joined C.I.A. operatives in secret “snatch and grab” operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blackwater’s role in the raids grew out of contracts that the company had with the spy agency to provide security for the C.I.A. in Kabul and Baghdad.

The company had a dual role in the drone program, said current and former employees and intelligence officials. Contractors on the secret bases assembled and loaded Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs onto drones, and they also provided security at the C.I.A. bases.

The C.I.A. did not allow contractors to select targets for the drone attacks or pull the trigger on the strikes. That work was done at the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Langley, Va.

But Blackwater’s direct role in the drone operations sometimes led to disputes between the contractors and C.I.A. employees, as the spy agency sometimes accused Blackwater employees of poor weapon assembly if the missile or bomb missed a target. In one instance last year, a 500-pound bomb dropped off a Predator before the drone had launched its payload, leading to a frenzied search along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

A company employee said the bomb was eventually found not far from the intended target.

Blackwater’s Secret War in Pakistan –>An ineresting article by Jeremy Scahill

November 25, 2009 4 comments

Amidst of  all the fuss over USA involvement in Pakistani affairs and the presence of their security agencies in Pakistan we see denials from Pakistani officials for any such presence and interference but still people are not satisfied with government lies.

Below is an article written by Jeremy Scahill of The Nation on the issue of Blackwater presence in Pakistan.

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Blackwater’s Secret War in Pakistan
By Jeremy Scahill

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, “snatch and grabs” of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.

Click here to read the whole article

Rehman Malik involved in the release of 4 armed Americans breaking Pakistani Law

October 29, 2009 3 comments

While the whole independent media is chanting about the presence of Blackwater mercenaries (XE Worldwide),Dyncorp etc and the illegal activities of foreign security personnel and citizens , our interior ministry is not only denying all such charges but now they are encouraging them more by their actions.

Recent news that Interior Minister Rehman Malik was involved in the release of 4 armed Americans breaking Pakistani law should raise some eyebrows in the ranks of people who are concerned about rule of law and sovereignty of the country.

Previously Mr. Malik claimed that no foreigners will be allowed to carry illegal arms and if so he will be dealt with an Iron hand.

“The violators would be dealt with an iron hand,” Rehman Malik said to the media.

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Nabbed with illegal arms again

The Nation

ISLAMABAD – Once again, 4 American nationals were caught red-handed by Capital Police in the wee hours of Tuesday when they were carrying weapons publicly. However, they managed to secure release and continue their journey to a mysterious destination, sources informed.
According to details, police personnel deployed here at Nawaz Chowk, sector F-8, intercepted two suspicious vehicles in the wee hours of Tuesday. During the search, police recovered weapons from their custody. The riders of these vehicles were found, once again, to be American nationals.
To the surprise of many, the Americans were allowed to go along with their arms after an anonymous call that the officer in command at police picket received at the same time when preliminary investigation were being carried out from the foreigners.
Though it is not clear who asked the police to let the Americans go, sources revealed that US Embassy officials came into action swiftly and got their nationals freed after contacting high-ups of Pakistan’s Interior Ministry.
When contacted, Foreign Office spokesman told TheNation that there existed no law in Pakistan that might allow any foreigner or diplomat, including Americans, to move on busy roads of capital with illegal arms.
Talking to TheNation, the Spokesperson of US Embassy Richard Snelsire said he was unaware about the incident.
Following Tuesday’s incident, a wave of anger, fear and uncertainty has been felt across the federal capital. It was not the first incident of such kind in the Federal Capital wherein foreigners were nabbed by police for keeping illegal arms. It has been observed that in a number of incidents police intercepted foreigners including American diplomats cruising busy roads of Islamabad carrying sophisticated arms and let them free after interception of ‘hidden hands’.
Some days ago, police officials deployed at a picket intercepted two Dutch diplomats and recovered sophisticated weapons including hand grenades from their possession. The police lodged a formal complaint, however, no such action was initiated in repeated cases of US diplomats and nationals who were allowed to go.
Following the incident, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik also stated that no foreigner would be allowed to carry illegal arms with him/her. “The violators would be dealt with an iron hand,” he added.
However, Americans were found violating the law of the land and to the surprise of the Minister himself, violators were given a safe passage every time.
Reportedly, it was the sixth incident in which the US Embassy officials/diplomats or nationals were found carrying weapons hiding in their vehicles during the last four months.
On June 23, 2009, a police team deployed at Khyber Chowk, G-9/4, intercepted a vehicle. The team found three American diplomats – Jeffery, Jeffdic and James Bill Koeen and driver Charlie Benzic – belonging to the regional security section of the US Embassy, in the guise of pakhtoons wearing Shalwar Kameez.
The police recovered four M-4 machineguns and four 9mm pistols from their possession after checking the vehicle. Before the police could lodge complaint against them, the diplomats were allowed to go after the intervention of US Embassy and Interior Ministry.
Another incident of this kind surfaced on August 5, 2009, when Police Inspector Hakim Khan was abused by a US security official namely John Arso as he (John) took out his pistol and harassed the inspector to a great extant. When contacted at that time, the US spokesman confirmed an exchange of harsh words. However, he said the US official never displayed pistol. The US security official was later sent back to Washington.
In yet another incident, on August 12, 2009, a Pakistani youth was intercepted and abused by a US Marine inside Diplomatic Enclave.
In another incident, on August 26, 2009, two US nationals stopped Mohsin Bukhari, owner of a petrol pump situated in F-6 at Agha Khan Road near Marriott Hotel. To the surprise of Mohsin, US officials took him to his petrol pump where three more investigators from US Embassy joined them. After questioning him for 30 minuets, the US team set him free.
Similarly, Another incident came to the surface where US embassy’s employee intervened in police matters. The incident occurred on October 6 when police arrested two Dutch diplomats who were carrying unlicensed weapons. However, the said diplomats were released on the spot on the intervention of diplomatic circles.
When said Dutch diplomats were being interrogated by police, a US embassy domestic employee namely Sunny Christopher (having US Embassy’s official card # 16570) reached there and interfered in the police matters.
Meanwhile, despite frequent attempts Interior Minister Rehman Malik could not be approached for comments over Tuesday’s incident.

Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online//Politics/28-Oct-2009/Nabbed-with-illegal-arms-again

Blackwater brainchild of Bilderberg Group

October 6, 2009 1 comment

Bilderberg group has planned 100 years of War on Terror and hence private contractors such as Blackwater / Xe and NATO forces have no plan to leave the Asian region till 2101.

Blackwater and other private mercenary armies in the world are the brainchild of Bilderberg Group. “The Masters of the Universe” as they call it, Bilderberg Group is a secret society comprising of 160 most influential personalities of the world.

Read complete post:http://sana.aijazi.com/blackwater-brainchild-of-bilderberg-group/

Blackwater/XE worldwide in Pakistan

September 13, 2009 1 comment

A good video report on the Blackwater/XE worldwide presence in Pakistan.

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