CPEC brings more destruction to Balochistan, says Baloch activist at UNHRC

Baloch political and human rights activists have accused Islamabad for allowing Beijing to build China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project from Balochistan, the resource-rich province which has been facing decade-long insurgency. Speaking at a side event during the ongoing 39th Session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Hatim Baloch, Representative, Human Rights Council of Balochistan said, "CPEC bring more destruction, more army operations. Many villages are being raised by Pakistan Army which are in the way of CPEC route and have intensified the situation even more and it is not for Baloch indigenous people, so they are suffering more than previous when China was not there. So it is not bringing any positive change, it's making the situation more worse." The event was addressed by many speakers from Europe including members of European Parliament. Brian Toll, a senior expert at Brussels-based Cooperation in Higher Education (Europe-Asia) said the rise of extremism in Pakistan is a cause of concern. "It is very clear that the army has been supporting extremist elements and it is known they have been providing support to Taliban in Afghanistan as well. So, how it's affecting the people in Pakistan the answer is more the army is leaning towards extremism the more Pakistan becomes very conservative society, very much in favour of the Sunni majority and very much more difficult for all of the minorities to exist peacefully and to develop civilian lives, develop their economies, develop their families, to feel secure and safe within a civil society", said Toll. Toll said the Army still remains a strong institution in Pakistan and the elected government acts as a puppet.