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Mahrang Baloch’s father was not a BLA militant leader

Mir Abdul Ghaffar Lango was a political leader and belonged to the Baloch National Party (BNP)

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Claim: Mahrang Baloch’s father, Abdul Ghaffar Lango, was a Baloch Liberation Army commander. 

Fact: Mahrang Baloch’s father, Abdul Ghaffar Lango was a political leader of the Baloch National Party and a member of Khair Bakhsh Marri’s reading circle.

On 21 December 2023, a coordinated hashtag “#PlantedAuratMarch”, was used on X (formerly Twitter) in relation to Mahrang Baloch, the leader of the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYK), which is one of the groups that organised the March against, what they claim is  “genocide” of the Baloch people. 

A number of posts using this hashtag claim that Mahrang Baloch’s father, Abdul Ghaffar Lango, was a commander of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA). 

According to Stanford’s Mapping Militants database, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) is a Baloch ethno-nationalist militant organisation fighting against the Pakistani government for greater regional autonomy for the province of Balochistan.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found a 2012 report by Human Rights Watch, titled “Statement of Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan Director, Human Rights Watch: House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Hearing on Balochistan.” 

According to this report, Mir Abdul Ghaffar Lango, Mahrang Baloch’s father, was a Baloch National Party (BNP) leader who went missing in 2009, after which the police did not allow his family to lodge an FIR to report him as a missing person. The report states that one officer told the family that the “authorities” wanted to restrain him from participating in politics. His wife told Human Rights Watch that he was picked up on 11 December 2009, in broad daylight, by ten men in civilian clothes and driving two white Toyota Vigo pickup trucks.

Another 2011 report from Human Rights Watch titled, “We Can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years”: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan” concurs. It also adds that in 2009, Lango was picked up by men in two white Toyota pickup trucks right outside the hospital in Karachi, where he was taking his wife for her medical treatment. Two years later, his mutilated body was found in Gadani town in the Lasbela district of Balochistan, according to the report.

We also found two articles from 2011, published on the Express Tribune website, one regarding the report of Mir Ghaffar Lango’s mutilated dead body being discovered near Gadani, and the second regarding the protest that occurred in its aftermath. 

The first report calls Mir Ghaffar Lango a political activist. It also says, “Lango’s family, who had been protesting for two years, blame security agencies for the killing. He was whisked away in December 2009 from Karachi.” 

The report also adds that Lango was affiliated with the Baloch Haq-i-Tawar (Voice of Baloch Rights), which was a reading circle and debating forum formed by Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri. 

The second report states that the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), Baloch National Front (BNF), and Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) called for a strike after Lango’s body was recovered from an abandoned restaurant near the Lakbado area in Gadani on Friday. He was listed as missing from Karachi around two years ago. He was first jailed for three years in 2006 and  abducted again in December 2009, when he brought his wife to a private hospital in Karachi for her medical treatment. 

The reports from Human Rights Watch and the local news coverage prove that Mahrang Baloch’s father was a Baloch nationalist and a political activist but not a BLA commander. 

The same claim was used by a BOL News anchorperson, Dr Fiza Khan where she asked Dr Mahrang Baloch whether her father was associated with the BLA. She clarified, “I have already explained this a lot of times, my father was not associated with the BLA, his case was ongoing in the Supreme Court of Pakistan… If you say that my father belonged to an organisation like that, then your courts have to prove it, he was facing case hearings for three years and this was not raised as a concern.” 

Virality

The images on X posted with the false claim here, here, and here reached over 5000 views.

This claim was also used with another video interview where journalist Gharida Farooqi is seen berating Dr Mahrang Baloch for an answer. This can be seen on Facebook here where it was viewed more than 2,400 times. 

The BOL News clip was viewed 32,000 times on YouTube.

Conclusion: Mahrang Baloch’s father was not a commander of the Baloch Liberation Army. 

Background image in cover photo: X

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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