The judicial commission on the mass graves in Khuzdar has unsurprisingly come up empty-handed, and once more the plight of the missing persons of Balochistan goes unanswered. The commission has very conveniently absolved the government and the armed forces of any blame in the matter and has instead implicated a local tribal leader, Shafiq Mehngal. His connection to the incident however could not be clearly established, even though 37 witnesses testified against him. And even if is he is involved, what next? If past experiences are to be taken into consideration then we can safely assume that this incident, like all others before it, will go unpunished. This report is of no help to deliver justice to the dead.

The probe also recommended that the government and the armed forces increase security in the ‘no-go’ areas to decrease the chances of such incidents happening again. The bodies of seventeen people were found in the graves in January, and DNA tests prove that at least some of these victims were on the missing persons list. That the government, agencies and the armed forces have no part to play in the deaths of most names on the missing persons list has been treated with suspended belief. The testaments of the witnesses prove nothing. This judicial commission was supposed to shed some light on the vacuum of information in Balochistan, but instead guarantees that the status quo will prevail.

The unceremonious dumping of victims in Khuzdar poses two important questions if we assume (unrealistically) that the state and the establishment had nothing to do with the murders. Who is really responsible? And what is being done to prevent these incidents form taking place in the future? Both have no answers because the assumption they are predicated on is not realistic.

The treatment of Balochistan and its inhabitants has been nothing short of cruel. This commission has all but ensured that mass graves like the ones in Khuzdar will keep popping up, while the state will look the other way, if not actively participate in the crimes. Fact-finding commissions like this are useless if the results they come up with have no value. All this does is remind the Balochi people that their lives are worth less than the rest of us.