The family of Jahanzeb, in his early teenage, has spoken up against the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) for pressing false charges against Jahanzeb.
On Friday, the CTD had claimed to have arrested two suspects belonging to the banned militant group, the Baloch Liberation Army, from Sariyab, Quetta. The arrested were identified as Syed Owais Shah and Jahanzeb Baloch.
This comes as the CTD is already facing mounting criticism over the killing of five victims of enforced disappearance in a staged encounter on 7 March 2021 in the Isplinji area of Mastung, Balochistan.
In a detailed statement provided to Balochistan Affairs, Jahanzeb’s family has rebutted the CTD claims, stressing that Jahanzaib is a minor, student, and a torture victim of the Pakistani army. “He is being framed in a false case, primarily to punish the extended family as some members of the family are involved in the struggle for the Baloch peoples’ rights,” read the statement.
Syed Owais Shah´s father has also held a press conference rebutting the CTD claims. “My son is innocent with no affiliation with the militant group as alleged by the CTD, and he arrested and whisked away from Panjgur and falsely framed by the CTD,” reiterated Shah’s father.
Another brother of Jahanzeb, the 17-years-old Shah Nizar, was forcibly disappeared during a military raid on his family home in Sordo, Panjgur on 15 August 2019. The security personnel beat up the ladies in the house and stole away valuables. Shah Nizar remains in incommunicado detention.
According to Khuda Nizar, father of Jahanzeb, the security forces once again raided their home a few days after whisking away Shah Nizar. They took away more valuables and this time they wanted to whisk away Jahanzaib, however, with the fortunate interference of the neighborhood, who gathered in large numbers, the security personnel were stopped from forcibly whisking him away. But before leaving, they brutally beat up Jahanzaib in front of the neighborhood and his parents while smashing his head to the wall at one point during the torturous beating. He was left bleeding with a fractured skull and unconscious.
Jahanzaib was taken to Karachi for immediate treatment, which saved his life but he was never normal after this round of torture. He suffered from seizures and psychological problems, said the mourning Khuda Nizar.
Nearly, a year after the bout of torture and his escape from death, Jahanzeb was forcibly disappeared on 17 February 2021 from Chitkan Bazar in Panjgur. He was traveling back to his house along with his father Khuda Nizar when the security forces traveling in a civil Toyota corolla car and a Suzuki Jimny stopped them on the road and took Jahanzaib along with them at gunpoint.
The families of Syed Owais Shah and Jahanzeb fear for the safety of the detained minors including Shah Nizar. They have demanded the judiciary to intervene and ensure the release of all three victims.