QUETTA - Ansar Burney Trust Chairman Ansar Burney said local chieftains and some influential people in the government were involved in kidnapping for ransom and enforced disappearances in Balochistan. He was addressing a news conference with Frontier Corps Balochistan Inspector General Maj Gen Obaidullah Khan Kattak at FC headquarter Wednesday after securing the release of a group of people who were kidnapped and sold in Afghanistan. Local Sardars (chieftains) after kidnapping people demanded huge amount so that they could become rich. I have previously pointed to the issue but nobody including the media raised voice, he said, adding that if the intelligence agencies were involved in criminal activities he would raise voice against them. He said the chieftains after killing their rivals levelled blame on the government. He said that influential personalities of the country were involved in human smuggling. Whenever the accused are arrested, they are said to be relatives of Rehman Malik or other influential personalities, he added. Burney said they were informed that a group of people, including children, from Sindh had been trapped and brought to Quetta. The abductees were sold in Afghanistan, he said, adding they were subjected to torture. After complete details, we contacted the FC, which contacted Afghan authorities and secured the released of 15 people, he said, adding that another 15 people were still in the custody of local people and efforts were being made for their release. Burney stressed the people should not go abroad in bid to escape poverty. Responding to a question, he said the kidnapped people were being sent to their homes and an FC officer had given his one-month salary for them. Speaking on the occasion, Kattak said action against human traffickers was inevitable as these people were putting the life of innocent people at risk. In reply to a question, he said the Independence Day would be celebrated in Balochistan with national zeal and various programmes would be arranged to mark the day with the purpose to spread the message that Balochistan is peaceful province and its people are patriots. A jirga consisting of local tribal elders would be held and invitations have been dispatched, he said adding that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would soon visit Quetta and inaugurate marble and coal projects in Musa Khel. About the Kharotabad incident, he said the FC had extended full cooperation with the inquiry tribunal and they respected the recommendations of tribunal. However, he added that situation would be reviewed thoroughly before any action.