Qambar Malik, the information-secretary of the Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) delivered a statement on the deteriorating human rights situation in Balochistan during the Item-4 General Debate of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“Balochistan is suffering a severe humanitarian crisis, having been in the throes of a ruthless genocidal conflict for the past two decades”, Qambar told the UN.
The BHRC representative emphasized that the Pakistani army’s sponsored death squads are roaming with impunity. A large number of Baloch youth has been the victim of forcible disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Thousands of them have fled to different countries in recent years.
Commenting on Pakistan military’s crimes against humanity in Balochistan, he further said that the military establishment of Pakistan and its clandestine agencies are kidnapping, torturing, and murdering activists and human rights defenders to counter the Baloch people’s demand to exercise their right to self-determination. The recent killing of a student Hayat Baloch in Turbat testifies to that. He was brutally murdered by the Frontier Corps while his parents were forced to watch his unfortunate fate.
“Considering the gravity of the situation, we request this council to put a resolution in the Council to send a fact-finding mission to Balochistan to investigate the gross violations of human rights and subsequently, make the state military officials accountable for their crimes against humanity in Balochistan”, added Qambar.
The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) and World Sindhi Congress (WSC) jointly held a seminar entitled, “The call for international intervention in Sindh and Balochistan: legal and humanitarian aspects“ on Thursday 24 September 2020 at Royal Hotel in Geneva.
This seminar overviewed grave violations of human rights, with a special focus on enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in Sindh and Balochistan by the state establishment of Pakistan.
The participants expressed the view that in all possible measures and accounts the acts of the Pakistani military tantamount to genocide, and crimes against humanity, therefore, calling for an urgent international intervention to ensure the lives and human rights of millions of people. The seminar also discussed the destructive role of CPEC which in the guise of economic prosperity is stealing the mineral and sea resources of Sindh and Balochistan while depriving their people of its benefits.
The speakers in the seminar expressed that Pakistan has continued the dehumanization and genocide of these two nations. They stressed on the need of concerted and meaningful efforts by the United Nations and the international community to uphold their mandate and commitment to human rights by ensuring Pakistan does not operate to the exclusion of international law.
Qambar Malik, the Information Secretary of the BHRC moderated the talk whereas Dr Lakhu Luhana, the General-Secretary of the WSC presided over the seminar.
The General-Secretary of BHRC, Samad Baloch provided a detailed statement on the doctrine of humanitarian intervention and its general application. He emphasized that it is the moral and legal obligation of the international community to intervene in a situation where the state is violating all international laws and regulations regarding the protection and the dignity of citizens. Pakistan has been carrying out the worst of the human rights abuses hardly witnessed in the region yet the champions of human rights have preferred to turn a blind eye to these crimes which raise serious questions on the role of the UN.
Other prominent speakers included Merce Monje of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization who criticised the Chinese led BRI and explained how China with its aggressive expansionist plans is fending on the resources of the various nations of the region. She showed disappointment over the role of Germany which in the hope of economic gains is overlooking the destructive side of the CPEC which goes contrary to Germany’s stand and promises on human rights.
Shaukat Kashmiri of the UKPNP, Dr Syed Sadat of Afghan Unity Front and Baseer Naved, the Executive Director of IHRC slammed Pakistan military’s role in the forcible disappearances and extra-judicial killings of dissents in Sindh, Balochistan, KPK and PoK. They strongly criticized the forced conversion of Sindhi Hindu girls to Islam.
In his remarks, Dr Lukhu Luhana emphasized that the UN and EU should mandate independent and impartial investigations into serious human rights abuses which as a consequence of remaining unchecked for decades have created a serious humanitarian crisis in Balochistan and Sindh. They should have a clear stand on Pakistan’s actions in Sindh and Balochistan.
“These investigations must also produce results and recommend steps to ensure an end to the systematic abuse facing the Baloch and Sindhis”, said Dr Lakhu Luhana.
At the end the seminar unanimously adopted a resolution calling for immediate international intervention in Balochistan and Sindh. The resolution was read by Guhram Baloch, the representative of BHRC in the Netherlands.
The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) and the World Sindhi Congress (WSC) held a joint protest outside the UN building at the Broken Chair in Geneva during the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) against the institutionalised state violence and other forms of socio-economic and political suppression of the Baloch and Sindhi people by the Pakistan military.
Human Rights defenders from various nations including Pashtuns and Kashmiris who also suffer at the hands of the military establishment of Pakistan, participated in the protest and expressed solidarity with the Baloch and Sindhis.
Samad Baloch the Secretary-General of the BHRC led the protest whereas those who addressed the protest included the Secretary-General of WSC Dr Lakhu Luhana, Kaihan Mashriqwala leader of the PTM Italy and a human rights defender Anila Gulzar.
The protestors called the United Nations and the International community to live up to their mandate and commitments without any hindrance and political pressures and make Pakistan which is a signatory to various human rights instruments to end its genocidal policies in Balochistan and Sindh.
“Stop Abducting Baloch People”, “Pakistan Stop Baloch Genocide”, “Stop Abducting Sindhi People” were slogans chanted by the protesters while different roller banners highlighting the various violations of human rights in Balochistan and Sindh by Pakistan were put on display.
“The perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Balochistan must be tried in the International court of justice” read one of the banners.
Following the protest, a memorandum documenting some of the major human rights issues requiring urgent attention was also submitted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights by the BHRC representatives.
The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) has announced the details of its activities in Geneva during the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council in September this year.
“Due to various kinds of restrictions because of the corona epidemic, BHRC has reduced the number of its activities”, read the statement.
According to a BHRC press release, BHRC colleagues will be participating in four events during their stay in Geneva.
Interventions on item 3 and 4: BHRC colleagues will deliver statements during the Item 3 and 4 General Debates, commenting on the socio-cultural, economic and human rights violations in Balochistan.
Conference/Seminar: A conference/Seminar will be jointly held by BHRC and World Sindhi Congress (WSC) in the Royal Hotel, Geneva on 24 September. The topic of the conference will be: “The call for international intervention in Sindh and Balochistan: legal and humanitarian aspects“. Prominent speakers are expected to shed light on the issue.
Demonstration: A demonstration to highlight the atrocities being committed in Balochistan will be held at the Broken Chair on 25th September.
Memorandum/Petition. A memorandum regarding the human rights situation in Balochistan will be submitted to Michelle Bachelet, head of United Nations High Commission for Human rights on 25th September.
The BHRC has been advocating for the right to self-determination of the people of Balochistan since its inception in 2008. It has arranged numerous campaigns in Europe and North America, highlighting the various human rights and humanitarian challenges facing the Baloch in Iran and Pakistan to persuade the international community and the United Nations to intervene in Balochistan and investigate the gross violations of human rights that should be followed by accountability measures and prosecutions.