Baloch political activists and human rights defenders have lambasted on Pakistan for atrocities against Baloch people at the same time when the cash-strapped nation is crying foul over Kashmir at the 42nd United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) here.
The Baloch Human Rights Council organised a briefing on ‘The Humanitarian Crisis in Balochistan’ at a special tent at Broken Chair in front of the UN headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday.
In the briefing, the activists stated that Pakistani army continues to carry out operations in Balochistan that has also lead to an increase in the number of enforced disappearances across the region.
Speaking to ANI, Nabi Bakhsh Baloch from the US-based Baloch National Movement said, “Until Pakistan has its foot in our territory, Balochistan will never be at peace.”
“Qureshi (Pakistan Foreign Minister) will obviously not reveal what atrocities are being committed by Pakistan there. That is why we are here. Who will listen to our voices if we come out and speak,” the activist stressed while referring to the Pakistan Foreign Minister’s remarks where he claimed that India has transformed Jammu and Kashmir into a largest “caged prison in this planet” after the abrogation of Article 370 and that the human rights were being “trampled with impunity” there.
“If you are raising your voice for Kashmiris because of their religion, then aren’t we Balochs, Pashtuns and other minorities Muslims?” Baloch added.
The activist noted, “Everything is out in the open. People do keep a watch on the activities of Pakistan through social media.”
Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday, Qureshi claimed that the world is also talking about the “brutality” that Kashmiris are facing in the region.
In his speech at the UNHRC session, Peter Tatchell, a UK-based Human Rights activist, told ANI, “All pieces of evidence from human rights defenders inside Pakistan and international human rights organisations, including Amnesty and other human rights watchdog, show repeated stories of abductions, disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings carried out by the Pakistani state and military agencies.”
“This is in clear violations of Pakistan’s own constitutional as well as international human rights law,” Tatchell said.
When asked about the standpoint of the international community over Pakistan exporting terrorism in South Asia, the activist noted that Islamabad stands accused of funding, aiding and colluding with terrorists within its own state and exporting it abroad.
“Until it ceases its human rights violations and its collusion with terrorism by cracking down on fundamentalists and extremists, the international community should institute economic sanctions and break diplomatic relations with Pakistan,” he stressed.
He added, “There is no way that Pakistan should be receiving military aid from countries like Britain and the United States. That aid has to stop because it is complicit in human rights abuses against Pakistani people.”
Speaking on similar lines, Razzak Baloch, Organiser of the US-based Baloch Rights Council, told ANI, “This is what you call heights of hypocrisy. Because they want to hide the human rights violations they are doing in Balochistan, they have crying over Kashmir at the UN.”
Interestingly, while Qureshi was addressing the session on Tuesday, protests were held outside the UN Headquarters against the dire situation of Human Rights in Pakistan.
Time and again Islamabad has been left red-faced after all its desperate attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue fell flat with countries like Russia, UAE and US siding with India.
While Pakistan has been running from pillar to post, New Delhi has maintained that Kashmir is a strictly internal matter.