The conference organized by Baloch Human Rights Council is the first of its kind on Balochistan to have hosted diplomats from various countries and representatives from three international NGOs.
Press Release: Geneva, Switzerland – 10/09/2019: Members of diplomatic corps in Geneva and representatives from various International NGOs responded positively to the call of Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) by attending a briefing organized by BHRC on the “Humanitarian Crisis in Balochistan” at the Broken Chair in Geneva.
Many of the diplomats who had initially agreed to attend the briefing excused to attend in the last minutes citing unavoidable circumstances as a reason. It was learnt by the BHRC that Pakistan Embassy in Geneva had written letters to different diplomats to bycott the BHRC briefing on their crimes in Balochistan.
The delegates were briefed by BHRC on various aspects of the systematic and continuous Human Rights challenges facing the people of Balochistan in Pakistan for the last couple of decades. These include widespread extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances of dissidents in Balochistan by the state security forces of Pakistan. The state of Pakistan has also been involved in the burning of the settlements and forced disaplacement of Baloch populace in Balochistan without the fear of legal repercussions.
The verified numbers of killed and missing persons during the last 15 years are in thousands. Nearly a million people have been internally displaced. Thousands have fled the country and now are living as refugees in various countries of the world. The human rights situation has worsened and abuses intensified owing to a deafening silence by the International community, the delegates were told.
A short documentary released by the BHRC was played which dealt with the historical context of the matter and showcased a disturbing image of the state of human rights in Balochistan of Pakistan. The documentary will be made public on the official website of BHRC and on Youtube by the end of the week long awareness campaign launched by BHRC in Geneva on 10 September 2019.
Prominent Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell of Peter Tatchell Foundation made a special appearance in the session. Peter briefed the delegates through statistics gathered by BHRC. According to Peter Tatchell,
- 1n 2015, the Interior Minister of Pakistan, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan disclosed that since June 2014, more than 10,000 intelligence-based operations had been carried out, mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, in which some 36,000 persons were arrested.
- On April 27, 2016, the interior minister in the government of Balochistan claimed that security forces arrested 12,234 persons and killed 334.
Information Secretary of BHRC Qambar Malik Baloch underlined that the state of Pakistan has only been relying on military repression in dealing with the Baloch national question. Balochistan is in turmoil and the people are living in a state of the siege while the Pakistani authorities convey the impression to the international community that the national resistance of the Baloch has been contained or crushed. But the fact is that on the one hand, the army and the Baloch resistance have been locked in a bloody, protracted and devastating confrontation with no side appearing as the winner and on the other hand, the tale of blood and tears in Balochistan is continuing.
Many actions of Pakistani security forces and its auxiliary religious or extremist organizations clearly come into the category of war crimes according to the United Nation General Assembly resolutions. The state authorities of Pakistan will keep braving themselves for a career of conquest against the nationalistic inspirations of the people of Balochistan until a meaningful intervention from the international community is ensured, emphasized Qambar.
He concluded that Baloch conflict with Pakistan need resolution and the intervention of international community is imperative in this relation. The resolution of this protracted and bloody conflict lies in creating a polity that recognizes the legitimate national right of the Baloch to a sovereign state. The only peaceful solution to the Baloch conflict is in ascertaining the free will of the Baloch by holding a referendum in Balochistan under the auspices of the UN after putting the entire Baloch land under the mandate of the UN for a specified period.