Faiz Mohammed Baluch and Nawabzada Herbiyar Marri, two exiled human rights activists from Baluchistan, were arrested Dec. 4 by London Metropolitan Police in a supposed anti-terrorist operation code-named “Super-Sweep.” Fellow rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “I know one of the detained men, Faiz Baluch, and have worked with him on campaigns against Pakistani human rights abuses in occupied Baluchistan. In all the work that I have done with him, he [has] been engaged in an entirely lawful, constitutional struggle for the independence of their homeland.”
“These arrests are likely to have been at the request of the Pakistan government, which has long been seeking the extradition of Baluch nationalists exiled in London,” Tatchell said. “If these men are extradited they will never get a fair trial and they could face a death sentence. I urge the British government to not give in to pressure from the Pakistani dictator, President Musharraf. The extradition of these men would result in their arrest, torture, imprisonment and possible execution.” Tatchell said Mehran’s brother, Balach Marri, was recently murdered by the Pakistan army.
“These arrests look like another fit-up orchestrated by the Pakistan government to silence critics of Pakistan’s tyrannical, murderous oppression of the Baluch people,” said Tatchell. “The Pakistani authorities are secretly colluding with the Taliban to suppress Baluchistan.” (TopNews, IntelliBriefs, India, Dec. 6)
Meanwhile, three supporters of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto were killed Dec. 8 when gunmen attacked her party’s office in Naseerabad, Baluchistan. Gunmen sprayed the office with gunfire while Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) activists were sleeping there. (Times of India, AFP, Dec. 8)