UN Comission Report on Benazir Bhutto Murder–>Initial response

United Nations has just released the report of UN fact-finding mission for Benazir Murder Case. Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi in December 2007  during her election rally.
 
The commission headed by Heraldo Munoz, the U.N. representative from Chile, comments, “Bhutto’s assassination could have been prevented if adequate security measures had been taken.”
 
It also says :
 
 “The commission believes that the failure of the police to investigate effectively Ms. Bhutto’s assassination was deliberate.” Also, “ The officials, in part fearing intelligence agencies’ involvement, were unsure of how vigorously they ought to pursue actions, which they knew as professionals, they should have taken.” 

Note that the purpose of UN commission was fact-finding not fixing the responsibility. 

 
 
 
The main points are :
 
1 ) Musharraf government failed to provide proper security to Benazir Bhutto. The responsibility for this failure is on police and intelligence agencies including ISI,MI and IB.
2 ) Negotiations were going on between Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf but no agreement was made. Musharraf was not in favor of Benazir’s arrival in Pakistan at that time.
3 ) Musharraf government washed all the conclusive evidence. Only 23 pieces of evidence were provided and for this scale of incident usually thousands of pieces are preserved to investigate the truth.
4 ) The press conference of Brigadier Cheema of Interior Ministry was misleading in which responsibility was put on Baitullah Mehsud without investigation.
5 ) PPP’s own security team also failed to protect Benazir Bhutto despite PPP having so many people willing to give their lives for Bhutto.
6 ) Rehman Malik denied that he was responsible for Benazir’s physical security. UN commission finds Rehman Malik’s argument not factual as he was continuously in touch with establishment for Benazir’s security and was looking after the arrangements.
7 ) CPO Saud Aziz was responsible for not allowing the postmortem and washing the crime scene.
8 ) The car, in which Rehman Malik was sitting, left Benazir’s car alone which also decreased the level of security.

 

 

10 ) It is said that a 15 years old boy conducted the suicide blast but UN commission says a 15 years old boy cannot do all this alone. 
11 ) Threat to Benazir’s life was from Extremist elements but role of establishment cannot be overlooked in this. 
  
Now few things which immediately come to my mind are: 

1) Why Musharraf was given a safe exit when even PPP workers think he was responsible for BB’s murder? Was it due to the fact that Mr. Zardari was one of the beneficiaries or it was due to some pressure? 

2) Why the key responsible persons continued to work on their positions without proper accountability during the government of PPP including interior ministry officers, police officers, intelligence agency officers including former DG MI Nadeem Ijaz, former ISI head and Vice Army Chief General Kiyani? 

3) Kiyani is now Army Chief and was representing Musharraf during NRO deal. Will he allow further investigation on the role of ISI, MI,Musharraf and Kiyani himself? 

4) In Rehman Malik’s car, two other persons were also sitting. These two persons are Babar Awan and Musharraf’s close friend and former Core Commander Mangla Lt. General (R) Tauqir Zia(who was also the Chairman PCB during Musharraf time). Will some probe them for their role and negligence? 

5) Why the government of Pakistan delayed UN Commission Report for 15 days (till 15th April 2010)? Even though UN Commission didn’t conduct any new interview after 31st March 2010 as opposite to the government’s claim that the Commission is requested to conduct few interviews. Rehman Malik even yesterday revised the same claim. 

6) Will this murder go into the dustbin of Waziristan or some serious investigations will be done to investigate this high-profile murder? 

 

Report can be downloaded from the link below:

 
Lets see if millions of dollars invested by a poor nation on this report will be of any use or not?

I hope some serious and independent investigation and trial will be conducted for this murder.

 

9 ) Commission didn’t find evidence against Asif Zardari’s and any of the family members’ involvement in this murder.

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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

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.

A Must Watch Episode Of Islamabad Tonight On Negotiations With Taliban

A Must Watch Episode Of Islamabad Tonight On Negotiations With Taliban.

Islamabad Tonight – 28th January 2010

Featuring PTI Chairman Imran Khan,Taliban leader Mullah Zaeef, General (R) Aslam Baig,Mushahid Hussain of PML-Q, Lt. General (R) Ali Jan Orakzai with Nadeem Malik as host.

via zSHARE video – isb_28thjan10.flv.

We need to think our way out of this war against humanity and peace for the sake of innocent lives we are losing everyday.

Some Suggested Items For Relief Efforts In Haiti

I would like to share few things which we learned during the relief goods collection campaign after 2005 northern Pakistan earth quake.

Immediate arrangement for living:

It’s January and surely it will be cold , it usually takes time for tents to arrive and homes to be built. The fastest way for temporary arrangement can be made through Billboard-Panaflex material as it is easily available and provides good weather shield.

Food problem:

Food items should be ready to eat packed items because for items like flour, meat etc you need stoves etc. These can be sent in later stages.
The best items for immediate relief efforts are tetra pack milk, hard biscuits, juices, dry fruits etc

Bakery items will not help that much as they don’t last long.

Water is also going to be a problem as after earthquake usually water resources get polluted and unusable.

Medicine :

Not only medicine related to injuries are required but also for diseases which spread due to contamination like diarrhea, malaria, diseases from animals for e.g. dog bites and cold.

Toys:

There are lots of kids with traumatic experience so it is good to divert their attention from the earthquake aftermath.

Clothes and Shrouds :

Clothes need to be new / dry cleaned and of thick material.

Shrouds and Coffins are also required for burying the bodies.

Read:

How Pakistanis Can Help Haiti

Human Rights, Missing Persons And The Elected Government

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.