Habib Jalib's tragic murder – a blow to national integrity

PTH strongly condemns this act of barbarity and tragic persecution of Balochi leadership. We cannot afford to let this continue. About time, the Balochistan package is fully implemented and widened in its scope. We have to redress all genuine grievances of this troubled province and instead of looking for a foreign hand, analyse where we went wrong. If the Balochis are with Pakistan, no foreign hand can be successful. This would the beginning of a new chapter in our federal history. We are posting a press release by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan that makes pertinent points and gives a way forward for the rulers. We cannot allow the elimination of representative voices.  Raza Rumi

Jalib’s murder a blow to national integrity: HRCP

Lahore, July 14: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed shock and grief over the murder of former senator Habib Jalib Baloch, calling it a severe blow to Pakistan’s integrity and apprehending that it will undermine the peaceful and democratic struggle for the rights of all people in the country.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission said: “HRCP has been grieved and saddened by the murder of Habib Jalib, who was a voice of reason both in and outside parliament for disempowered people, not only in Balochistan but across Pakistan.

We offer our sincere condolences to the bereaved family and to Habib Jalib’s party. A highly respected politician across Pakistan and a Supreme Court lawyer, he had always backed a peaceful and democratic struggle for Balochistan’s rights. Regardless of one’s assessment of Jalib’s views, he was always respected for his forthrightness and the passion with which he honoured his commitment. On several occasions HRCP benefited from his views on democracy, autonomy of federating units and the rights of the underprivileged.

This murder most foul is bound to aggravate the feeling of alienation among the people of Balochistan and it might undermine Pakistan’s integrity.
Whoever the killers may be and whatever their motives, it will be very difficult to persuade the people of Balochistan that he was not killed for fighting for Balochistan’s rights. The murder is bound to strengthen the hands of those advocating violence and drown out the voices of people committed to espousing peaceful change through democratic means.

HRCP demands the government must give Habib Jalib’s murder the attention a tragedy of this magnitude deserves. Its response must go beyond condemning the attack and issuing statements promising review of the security situation in the region. A transparent and credible investigation to the satisfaction of Habib Jalib’s family must be initiated to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime do not go unpunished and their mischief does not cause any more harm than it has already done.”

Dr Mehdi Hasan

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