On December 10, the occasion of 69th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is being observed as “Human Rights Day”, we want to draw your attention towards the deteriorating conditions of human rights and Pakistan’s War crimes in occupied Balochistan.
Human Rights violations, excessive use of military force against civilian populations, harassment, humiliation, intimidation, illegal detentions, torture and enforced disappearances of the Baloch people from all walks of life, especially of political leaders, activists, students, youth, women, teenagers and children, have become common practices of the Pakistan army and its intelligence agencies.
We hope all of you know about the Baloch nation and their country Balochistan which comprises of a vast land and coastal areas lying at the junction of West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia.
It is Balochistan which connects these important regions with each other as well as with Middle East, Africa and onwards. Balochistan, along with its geographic and strategic importance, is a mineral rich country. Above all of that Balochistan is the land of the Baloch nation who is are democratic, liberal and secular people.
The world is aware that the adjacent areas of the above mentioned regions are badly affected by Islamic extremism and terrorism. It is too known that Pakistan is the main patron of religious terrorism in the region. Despite the perpetual manipulations of Pakistan at state level to pollute Baloch society with Islamic extremism Baloch till today are successful to save their society from that menace and maintain their secular identity.
Prior to the creation of Pakistan, Balochistan was a sovereign state which had treaty relationships with Britain since 1840 till 1947 when Britain quit the region.
On August 4, 1947, in a conference held in Delhi, chaired by Britain’s viceroy of India and attended by the Baloch ruler Khan of Kalat and the founding fathers of proposed Pakistan. The conference recognized Balochistan as an independent state and the founding fathers of Pakistan agreed to negotiate the return of Quetta, Bolan pass and other Baloch districts which had been obtained on lease by British India’s authorities from Khan of Kalat and annexed into the British Balochistan province of British India.
Consequently, Khan of Kalat declared the independence of Balochistan on August 11, 1947. Pakistan, which came into existence four days later, starter exerting pressure on the ruler of Baluchistan for accession with Pakistan, violating the agreement of 4th August 1947.
Balochistan’s newly formed parliament’s both houses –the elected House of Commons and the House of Lords — in their two successive sittings of December 1947 and January 1948 vehemently rejected the proposal of accession with Pakistan.
When Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, visited Khan of Kalat at Dhadar early February 1948, he failed to get the signatures of Khan on the instrument of accession with Pakistan. Being frustrated with their efforts for getting accession of Balochistan, the rulers of Pakistan with the backing of Britain managed to invade the fragile state of Balochistan and violating all international laws occupied the Baloch land in March 1948.
The Baloch people resisted Pakistan’s aggression and illegal occupation of their country under the leadership of Prince Abdul Kareem Baloch, but they failed to sustain the resistance. In 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Baloch revolted again and again to gain independence but they couldn’t succeed.
With the dawn of the new millennium the Baloch people again organised their struggle for independence from the yoke of Pakistan. Compared to previous struggles, this wave of Baloch struggle for liberation is better organised and broad based.
Despite Pakistan’s excessive use of military force, unlawful and inhuman policy of extrajudicial killings, kill-and-dump operations, forcible mass displacements, indiscriminate bombardment on civilian populations, unabated massive ground and aerial operations against civilian populations and enforced disappearances, the Baloch freedom movement has managed to survive for the last seventeen years.
The sustained struggle of the Baloch people has frustrated Pakistani authorities. Pakistan is executing a furious operation against the Baloch people from all walks of life especially targeting the freedom loving leadership, activists, students, human rights defenders, journalists, women and children.
Pakistani army and intelligence agencies assassinated prominent Baluch leaders like Muhammad Akbar Bugti, Ghulam Muhammad Baloch and Mir Baalach Marri. Thousands of Baloch from all walks of life, including the central committee members of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) Dr Din Muhammad and Ghafoor Baloch, Chairman of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO) Zahid Kurd and Zakir Majeed are still missing.
The frustrated Pakistan military and intelligence agencies have recently launched a new wave of operations against the Baloch people in and out of Balochistan.
On October 28, 2017, the Sind Rangers and ISI raided numerous houses of Baloch families in different areas of Karachi and abducted Nawaz Atta who is a human rights defender and information secretary of the Baloch Human Rights Organization, nine-year-old Aftab along with his cousins Muhammad Arif and Babu Rawat — both of them students. From another raid on the same day, they abducted 12 years old Ulfat along with Abid, Sajjad, Farhad and Ilyas who are teenagers and students.
On October 30, the security forces abducted the wife of prominent Baloch leader Dr Allah Nazar, Fazeela Bibi, along with three other women and their six children from Saryab Road, Quetta.
On the same day, the forces also abducted Jalal, a teacher, Shahmir, Yousuf and Bibagar from the same area of Quetta. Most abductees are teenagers.
On November 15, security forces abducted four Baloch youth from Karachi. Three of them are students namely Sanaullah Baluch who is Secretary General of Baluch Students Organization, Naseer Baloch and Hassam Baloch. The fourth abductee Rafique Baloch is a member of the BNM.
The next day, another Baloch student namely Sagheer Baloch was abducted from Karachi University.
The handpicked home minister of occupied Balochistan Sarfaraz Bugti, recently declared in public to carry out a genocide of Baloch nationalists. After this statement, the Army chief of Pakistan visited the occupied Balochistan on November 24 and held a meeting at the Quetta cantonment wherein they decided a new aggressive wave of military operations in Balochistan.
Eventually, the Pakistan army launched a new series of massive aerial and ground operations in the Mashkay, Raghai and Gichk areas of Balochistan since December 1.
Over a dozen civilians, including one woman and a 14 years old girl, have been killed in indiscriminate bombardment and shelling of army helicopters during these operations.
Hundreds of houses have been destroyed, their cattle killed and plundered. Over 6o women and children, including two sisters of Dr Allah Nazar namely Noor Khatoon and Sher Khatoon, their children and grandchildren have been arrested and shifted to military camps.
On this Human Rights Day, we want to draw the attention of the UNO and the world community to these state atrocities in Pakistan. We urge a UN intervention for the prevention of Baloch genocide by Pakistan.
Immediate measures are necessary for avoiding irreparable losses to humanity in occupied Balochistan at the hands of Pakistan.
Thank you in anticipation.
Khalil Ahmed Baloch
Chairman Baloch National Movement