Sep 02, 2010

Balochistan: Amnesty official - Violations Belong Alongside Those In Iraq, Afghanistan And Gaza


Human rights violations by Pakistan remain some of the world’s worst and are the ‘least reported’ says official.


Below is an article published by The Examiner:


There is no way to measure which is the worst when it comes to human rights violations: Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan or Balochistan.

Curt Goering, who is senior deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), and currently works at the organization’s national section headquarters in New York City, said this at an Iftar gathering organized by the Amnesty International at its Washington DC headquarters Tuesday.

Goering, who is a Middle Eastern expert, has been involved with Amnesty International at many levels for nearly three decades.

Goering had come to Washington DC to make a presentation about the Israeli blockade of 125 square miles Gaza strip, with a population of 1.6 million.

Local volunteers of Amnesty International listened with rapt attention as Goering said anger was running high among the Palestinians in Gaza against the United States, Russia and the United Nations for contributing towards their plight .

In addition to Gaza, there are many occupied territories, including Balochistan which is under Pakistani occupation, Iraq and Afghanistan which are under U.S. occupation, and Goering was asked if there is a formula to say which place is the worst in terms of human rights violations.

He said human rights practitioners have so far not developed any formula to say which area Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan or Balochistan is the worst.

“I like to visit Balochistan,” Goering, who has been to many countries in the Middle East area, expressed his keen interest.
Though the issues of Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza are internationally well-known, the struggle in Balochistan is the least reported in the Western world.

Pakistan is allegedly engaged in worst forms of human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, alleged use of chemical weapons, torture, massive human displacements, firing on peaceful demonstrations and enforced disappearances in Texas-sized Balochistan. Their occupied homeland was also used for nuclear tests, Baloch nationalists bitterly complain.

Goering has been a staunch advocate against use of torture during armed conflicts.

Families of victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Balochistan have long demanded that human rights practitioners visit their bloodied homeland. However, Islamabad views westerners in Balochistan with grave suspicions and is presently opposing the setting up of consulates of the United States and United Kingdom in capital Quetta as a “security risk.”