The people of Baluchistan have long suffered at the hands of the Pakistani state and the recent tragedy in Barkhan is another outrage. There really appears to be no end to the tales of woe and misery emerging from Balochistan.
The recent grim discovery of bodies of a woman and two young boys from a well in the Barkhan area was tragic enough but the testimony by the victim’s husband Khan Muhammad Marri that his wife Granaz and two sons, were kept in the private jail of a provincial minister Abdul Rehman Khetran for the last four years is just an outrage. According to Khan Muhammad Marri, five more of his children remain illegally confined. Khetran, who was arrested has claimed it is a ‘conspiracy’ against him but Marri tribesmen remain camped in Quetta’s Red Zone with the victims’ coffins, demanding justice.
As an editorial in Dawn noted, “One wonders how such a gruesome state of affairs can exist in a nation which claims to be ruled by the law. In large swathes of Pakistan, particularly Balochistan, the law has no meaning. This is not the first time Abdul Rehman Khetran has been accused of running a private jail. Such an illegal facility was discovered in 2014 when law enforcers raided his property in Barkhan after he reportedly tortured police officers.”
As Dawn noted, “This inhuman crime must be thoroughly probed and the guilty brought to justice, without considering their connections and clout. Moreover, the remaining prisoners must be freed and the menace of illegal jails ended throughout Pakistan. Our claims of being a civilised society will be meaningless if the killers of Granaz’s children are not brought to justice.”