Ending the “Kill and Dump” Policy in Balochistan
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about Balochistan. (Balochi-what? Is that the place Herman Cain calls Stan-Stan?)
No, Balochistan is in the southwest region of Pakistan. It spans nearly half of the country, but the population is much more sparse, making up only 5%. And it’s getting sparser…
Enforced disappearances in Balochistan have increased dramatically since the start of the War on Terror. The Baloch people refer to the abuses as “kill-and-dump,” because many of the bodies that have been found after years of mystery have been so badly abused and tortured that they are hardly recognizable.
The Pakistanis use US military aid to enforce their policies in the region. Armed with CIA devices and military equipment, they have likely caused the disappearance of over 10,000 people in Balochistan. With no way of knowing where to look, Pakistani citizens have to assume their loved ones are either dead or being detained in one of many secret prisons.
They could also be somewhere else entirely: in the hands of the United States.
For the last decade, the US has been buying prisoners from Pakistan for a hefty sum. Pakistan’s former president Gen. Pervez Musharraf wrote about our shopping habits in 2006. In his autobiography In the Line of Fire, he states:
“We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse the U.S. of not doing enough in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the Government of Pakistan.”
Problem is, while we’re great at purchasing suspected terrorists, we’re not great at the whole trial thing. Many of those detainees wound up at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan or were transferred to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and held without due process. Trials are time-consuming and messy. Kidnapping, torture and secretive murder get the job done just fine, thanks.
What can you do to help end this problem? You can sign a petition to the Prime Minister of Pakistan; and you can refuse to vote for someone whose policies encourage this human rights embarrassment.