Members of European Parliament express concern on the humanitarian situation in Balochistan

Brussels: A delegation of Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) met members of the European Parliament including Fulvio Martusciello, Andrea Caropa, Giuseppe Milazzo and Massimiliano Salini in Brussels on 23rd July 2019.  The delegation briefed the MEPs about the ongoing widespread human rights violations in Balochistan perpetrated by the Pakistani security establishment.  

The delegation apprised the MEPs about the context of the continued human rights violation by the Pakistani state in Balochistan in which a countless number of innocent Baloch have suffered harassment, illegal detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings for decades. Hundreds of people including students, doctors, teachers, engineers, political activists, and intellectuals have been killed and their bodies were dumped in desolate places in Balochistan in the execution of their infamous “killed and dump” policy. Thousands have been picked up by the security forces, kept incommunicado for years and their fate is still unknown as they have been declared missing. This is in order to contain the Baloch demand of the right of self-determination as mentioned in the United Nations’ Charter. Some of the acts being practices by the security forces in Baloch come into the category of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The delegation mentioned the fact that even the Supreme Court orders mean nothing to the ruling military establishment in Pakistan and demanded that it is high time for the international community to intervene in order to pressurize Pakistan to stop its blatant violation of human rights in Balochistan. 

The MEPs condemned the actions of the Pakistani government and expressed their disappointment on the failure of the Pakistani state to fulfill its obligations regarding the various international covenant on fundamental human rights.  While sympathizing with the victims of security forces, the MEPs opined that in the facade of the fight against terrorism, the Pakistani state cannot absolve itself on the gross violation of human rights in Balochistan. 

BHRC representative highlighted the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan

Geneva: The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) representative Jamshaid Amiri highlighted the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan, in his intervention speech during the 41st session of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) held on 3rd July 2019.

He emphasised that “the security forces of Pakistan and the Ayatollahs in Iran have for the decades been following the policy of disenfranchising the Baloch of their socio-cultural values. They have curbed their economic rights and political freedom. These have led the Baloch down the way of destruction. The state brutalities have resulted in a humanitarian crisis in Balochistan”.

Jamshaid Amiri during the 41st session of the UNHRC

Thousands of the Baloch have been made subject to enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in Pakistan, and on the other hand, the Baloch in Iran face summary executions, public hangings and inhumane torture. These are all being done to counter the demand of the Baloch people to exercise their right to national self-determination as mentioned in the UN charter on Human Rights. said Amiri in his intervention.

Mr Amiri urged the UN to pressurise Pakistan and Iran in order to stop the gross violation of human rights perpetrated by the two countries in Balochistan.

Source: Balochistan Affairs

Parliament Hill meeting on human rights focuses on Balochistan, Sindh

Ottawa, 06-06-19:  Representatives of Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) and the Sindhi Foundation held a crucial meeting at the office of MP Cheryl Hardcastle, Vice-Chair, Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. Honourable MP Cheryl Hardcastle was represented by her Political Advisor and Legislative Assistant, Mr. Tom Allen. 

Zaffar Jawaid of BHRC and Munawar Laghari of the Sindhi Foundation briefed Mr. Allen on the escalating human rights abuses in Balochistan and Sindh enacted by the Pakistani security forces. Rights violations were taking a serious toll on human lives as civilians and rights activists were arrested, disappeared, tortured and extra-judicially killed in custody by military and paramilitary units. 

The human rights advocacy campaign at the Parliament Hill highlighted the extreme repressive measures employed by the Pakistani state to brutally crush civil rights campaigns in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa regions. Representatives emphasized that Baloch women and children were being abducted and disappeared in Balochistan along with thousands of students, youth and political activists who are protesting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, exploiting natural resources and taking over Gwadar port for control over Middle East oil routes to the international market and Central Asia.

Mr. Allen was also briefed on the worrisome, and increasing cases of forced conversions of Sindhi Hindu girls in Sindh that continue to escalate in the absence of a law in Pakistan that prevents forced conversions. 

The representatives from Balochistan and Sindh human rights advocacy groups were assured of active support from the Canadian Members of Parliament on issues that endangered human lives. Mr. Allen expressed serious concern over the human rights situation in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and stated that the international law should be respected at all cost to stop violations against civilians.

Source: Balochistan Affairs

Baloch Human Rights Council arranged a major awareness campaign in Geneva highlighting Balochistan’s human rights situation – March 2019

Geneva:

In the face of grave human rights challenges facing the people of Balochistan at the hands of the security establishment of Pakistan, and considering the vulnerable situation facing the Baloch as a national entity, the Baloch Human Rights Council organised a major three days awareness campaign during the 40th session of the UNHRC directed at highlighting the plight of the Baloch people demanding international intervention into the ‘unchecked and concentrated brutalities’ being perpetrated against them by the state security forces of Pakistan for the last many decades. 

The three days campaign commenced on 10thMarch 2019 by setting up of a Tent at the Broken Chair in Geneva with a noticeable sized note reading, “Save The Baloch” and “#Baloch Genocide” erected on roadside. The campaign concluded on 13thMarch 2019, comprising of various activities as listed below:

  1. Exhibition on Human Rights situation of Balochistan:

A series of documentaries portraying a detailed account of various human rights violations and their repercussions being perpetrated by the state authorities of Pakistan against the Baloch people were played at intervals on 10thand 11thMarch 2019. The documentaries explained in a chronological order the historical context of the human rights situation in Balochistan making it into the present.

  • Human Rights Conference:   

On the second day of the awareness campaign, the BHRC convened a major conference entitled, “Balochistan of Pakistan: the Human Cost” at the Broken Chair in Geneva to bring forward a more informed opinion regarding the generally underestimated and largely overlooked human rights situation of Balochistan. The conference moderated by Qambar Malik had invited a distinguished panel of speakers from diverse backgrounds and with extensive experience in the area who shared their insights on the subject matter. The conference was presided by the General Secretary of the BHRC Samad Baloch while the prominent among the speakers were Paulo Casaca of South Asia Democratic Forum, Member of the European Parliament Ryszard Czarnecki, Executive Director of IHRC Baseer Naweed, Human Rights Defender Dr. Zafar Baloch, HRCB’s Chairperson Taj BalochLucia Parrucci of UNPO, Dr. Hidayat Bhutto of WSC and Human Rights Defender Karima Baloch.

At the end of the conference proceedings a Resolutionwas adopted affirming and asserting the following: 

Conference Declaration:

  1. Expresses extreme concern on the continuing state supervised human rights violations in Balochistan and noted that the kill and dump policy adopted by the state security agencies in Balochistan for the last two decades, has costs hundreds of precious lives. 
  • Draws the attention of international community towards the extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances of the Baloch political and social activists by the army and its proxy death squads. Expresses deep concern at the silent complicity of the international community at the grave violations of human rights in Balochistan and demands that international human rights organizations should step up their efforts against the brutalities of the Pakistani military establishment in Balochistan. 
  • Urges the Secretary General of UN to exert pressure on Pakistani authorities to end the brutal treatment and enforced disappearances of the Baloch social, political and literary figures and to abandon itsinhuman  “kill and dump” policy in Balochistan. 
  • Emphasizes further that the Baloch people are facing a situation where not only the personal security is at stakes but also their socio-cultural values, languages, traditional knowledge system, and way of life are suppressed violently in order to dilute their demand for the right of self-determination.  
  • Expresses concern over the fact that being one of the richest land in the world, the people are Balochistan are among the poorest of the poor. This is because of the systematic disenfranchisement of Baloch and ruthless exploitation of their resources by Pakistani state in the benefit of Punjab under the pretext of various controversial mega-projects including the most recent and much hyped China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • The Baloch as a nation has the inherent and universal right of self-determination as enshrined in international law, including in the Charter of the United Nations, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The implementation of the right of self-determination is fundamental for the survival of the Baloch, including their cultural values, languages, religions, economy, and ways of life, land and resources.
  • The international community must come forward and urge the government of Pakistan to refrain from the use of oppressive measures leading to human rights violations against the Baloch. It must take immediate measures to ensure that the perpetrators of human rights violations within the Military, paramilitary and proxy organizations of these States to face justice.
  • Protest Demonstration:

Following the conference on 11 March 2019, BHRC held a protest demonstration at the Broken Chair lashing out at the discriminative and anti-Baloch policies of the Pakistani authorities. The protest was joined in by the representatives from World Sindhi Congress, and people representing Pashtuns and Kashmiris who accused the Pakistan state authorities of dehumanizing the Baloch and demanded an intervention of the International community into the matter to refrain Pakistan from further suppression of ethnic minorities in Pakistan. The participants also demanded fair trial and safe release of forced disappeared Baloch socio-political activists and human rights defenders in Pakistan.

  • Intervention on Item 3 and Item 4:

Taj Baloch of Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB) delivered a speech on Item 3 on the Human rights situation in Balochistan at the 40thsession of the UNHRC on 10thMarch 2019 whereas Karima Baloch a prominent Human rights defender read her observations on Item 4 at the UNHRC 40thsession to draw the council’s attention on the Human rights crisis in Balochistan on 13thMarch 2019.

  • Memorandum to UN General Secretary: 

A memorandum intended to draw the attention of the concerned offices to the humanitarian crisis developed in Balochistan because of the actions of Pakistani security forces, Samad Baloch the General Secretary of BHRC submitted memorandums to the offices of UN General Secretary and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 12thMarch 2019.