Balochistan demands appointment of UN special rapporteur to look into human rights violations

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar. 10 (ANI): Baloch political activists and human rights defenders raised the situation of deteriorating human rights in Balochistan and condemned the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at a side event during the 34th Session of UN Human Rights Council here.

The event was organised by the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) to highlight the gross genocide in Pakistan's largest and resource-rich province of Balochistan.

"Islamabad has thrown to the winds at least 25 out of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Balochistan. The execution style, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, and kill and dump of thousands of Baloch, use of degrading forms of torture such as feeding feces and sodomy of the Baloch activists have taken place in the last 12 years - and is still continuing," said Ahmar Mastikhan, founder of the American Friends of Balochistan.

"Mass graves are being found in Balochistan, which is clear evidence of Pakistan's war crimes. Just two weeks ago, another mass grave was uncovered in Dera Bugti while scores of women and children were among those killed in army operations there in recent weeks," he added.

Ahmar also raised the issue of multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and called it a violation of federal principles.

"Baloch economic, social and cultural rights are presently being trampled by the so-called China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which the Baloch rightly call the China Punjab Economic Corridor. All the decisions are being made by the non-Baloch rulers outside Balochistan in clear violation of federal principles," said Ahmar.

He also appealed the United Nations to appoint a special rapporteur on Pakistan to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Balochistan.

"When theirs is a special rapporteur on Iran and a special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, it's logical to have a special rapporteur on Pakistan to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Balochistan," he asserted.

Abdul Nawaz Bugti, the representative of the Baloch Republican Party to the UNHRC said, "Balochistan is not a legitimate part of Pakistan. It was illegally occupied and it is treated as a colony where the Pakistani occupational states subject the people to extreme atrocities and exploit their land and natural resources."

He requested the United Nations to look into the rising cases of enforced disappearances.

"An estimated 20,000 people have gone missing after being abducted by the Pakistani forces. The victims of enforced disappearances are the Baloch political activists, teachers, students, lawyers, intellectuals and basically, the educated class of the Baloch nation. The educated class becomes the primary victim, because it is the most aware of its situation and the most active to change the fate of an oppressed nation."

Abdul Bugti said China has also become a crime partner in Balochistan by launching China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Balochistan.

"The international community has unfortunately turned a blind eye towards the systematic genocide taking place in Balochistan. Some countries, for example China, has joined hands with the Pakistani state to exploit the land, sea and resources of Balochistan. Pakistan and China have officially become crime partners in the name of so-called CPEC, which connects China's landlocked region to the middle-east via Balochistan's deep seaport Gwadar," he said.

"The 46 billion-dollar projects have strengthened the Pakistan Army more than ever and the opposition to the exploitive projects by the Baloch masses has given a new pretext to the army to intensify the genocide in Balochistan," Bugti added.

Hakeen Baloch, whose family member was abducted in Balochistan, said the situation remains grim in Balochistan as an army operation is ongoing.

"The Pakistani forces have been carrying out a horrendous military operation across Balochistan, from Dera Bugti to Quetta, Mastung to Khuzdar, Gwadar and Turbat, Awaran to Buleda, Panjgur to Kharan. The Pakistani gunship helicopters and fighter jets routinely bombard the civilian population of Balochistan. But, that all goes unnoticed because of the media blackout in Balochistan," Baloch said. (ANI)