Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday began probing the discovery of a mass grave in the troubled southwestern province of Balochistan amid calls for an inquiry by the United Nations.
Officials said 13 decomposed corpses were found in a grave discovered last month in Khuzdar district of the province that borders Afghanistan and Iran.
Only two of the corpses have been identified so far, Khuzdar administrator Waheed Shah told the court in the capital Islamabad.
But the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan disputed the official account of the incident.
“We have heard from local people the number of corpses is much higher than being stated officially,” said Zohra Yusuf, the commission’s chairwoman.
Pakistan’s Chief Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jillani last week ordered the probe, calling the discovery “outrageous and shocking.” Rights bodies often accuse agents from Pakistani intelligence agencies of killing members of rebel groups to quell a decades—old insurgency in the province.
Several groups of Baloch insurgents are fighting against security forces to seek the independence of their province.
Rights activists have called upon the UN to send a fact—finding mission to probe the incident, expressing doubts about the inquiry being conducted by the court.
“We know nothing will come out of it,” said Nazish Brohi, a Baloch activist based in the southern city of Karachi.