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Question on murders of Baloch leaders in Pakistan

Briefing notes

Question on murders of Baloch leaders in Pakistan

17 April 2009

Q: You expressed UNHCR's concern on Tuesday (April 14) over the killings of three Baloch leaders in Pakistan. The US Embassy in Pakistan later issued a press release saying that one of the three victims had actually played a role in efforts toward the release of abducted UNHCR official John Solecki. What can you say about that?

Spokesman: Yes, it's true. As we said throughout John Solecki's two-month hostage ordeal, we were very grateful for the support provided by the Baloch community and its leaders in securing John's safe release. One of the leaders who took an active role in supporting John's release was Mr. Ghulam Mohammed Baloch, who was found murdered along with two other men last week.

As you can imagine, we are extremely distressed by these killings.

It is also worth noting that Mr. Ghulam Mohammed Baloch was a member of the Balochistan Quam Dost Committee that was recently formed by the Government of Pakistan to investigate the case of missing persons in the province of Balochistan.

As several Pakistani officials, including the President and the Prime Minister, have recognized, it is imperative that a thorough inquiry into the murders be conducted and that those responsible be brought to justice so that efforts toward reconciliation can progress.

Again, the High Commissioner and all UNHCR staff extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed.