November 9, 2016

UNPO announces European Parliament Conference: A Recipe for Disaster: Environmental Degradation and Human Rights Violations in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan

Wednesday 9 November 2016

15:00-18:00

European Parliament, Brussels

Room: A5E1

On 9 November 2016, Josep-Maria Terricabras MEP (Greens/EFA) in coordination with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) will convene a high level conference entitled “A Recipe for Disaster: Environmental Degradation and Human Rights Violations in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan” at the European Parliament, in Brussels.

Diamer-Bhasha is the most controversial of the six mega dams that Pakistan is planning to build in Gilgit-Baltistan, a disputed territory according to UN resolutions. Approved without the participation nor consent of the local population, the estimated cost of the project on the Indus River is worth approximately US$14 billion. Upon completion, 32 villages, as well as thousands of acres of agricultural land, will be submerged, leading to the displacement of about 50,000 persons. Fauna and flora will be severely affected and the ancient cultural and historical heritage of the Diamer area, including thousands of petroglyphs, will be lost. Furthermore, the construction of the dam raises questions over the right of its ownership. The peoples of Gilgit-Baltistan firmly believe that Pakistan has no right to build a dam in an area which is disputed and whose fate is still to be settled under UN Resolutions.

This conference seeks to build further on a long-term campaign to raise awareness at the European Parliament of the multiple human rights violations perpetrated by Pakistan. Bringing together academics, politicians, human rights activists and journalists, the event will also shed a light on the overall situation encountered by the persecuted minorities in Pakistan and discuss ways forward in addressing these violations. 

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