Mar 16, 2012

Balochistan: Demonstration against Military Operation

A large group of demonstrators convened outside the United Nations Office in Geneva to protest against ongoing human rights violations in Balochistan. Speaking before those gathered, Mehran Baloch and Noordin Mengal called on the international community to pay attention and respond to the troubles that have resulted from military operations in Balochistan

Below is an article published by the News International:

A large demonstration was held outside the United Nations here [Geneva] on the occasion of the 19th Session of UN Human Rights Council to condemn the human rights violations in Balochistan and ask for the end of military operation in the restive insurgency-hit province.

The demonstration was organised and led by Mehran Baloch, Balochistan’s representative at the United Nations and Noordin Mengal. The participants traveled from London, Germany, Canada, France and Brussels to take part in the protest. World Sindhi Congress, Baloch Human Rights Council and United Kashmir People’s National Party also joined the Baloch demonstrators to support their demands.

The demonstrators stood outside the UN building for two hours and held placards calling for the accountability of the intelligence agencies and the provision of justice for the missing persons whose fate is unknown.

Addressing the demonstrators, Mehran Baloch called on the international community to take notice of the on-going military operation in the province.

He said the government had failed to address the issues of Balochistan and it was relying on gimmicks such as the Aghaz-e-Haqooq package and other superficial measures to hoodwink the Baloch people and the international community. He said there was no difference between the current government and Pervez Musharraf’s rule. “Human rights violations under the PPP government have increased manifold. The current government is involved in dividing the Baloch people and plundering their resources. This government is acting criminally with the help of some Baloch who have sold their soul and conscience for privileges and material gains,” said Mehran.

He said the military operation was focused on targeting those who are raising voice[s] against the atrocities and injustices. He called on the international community to take notice of the growing number of extra judicial killings in the province.

Mehran Baloch said the support shown by the US Senators to the Baloch cause was a “step in the right direction” and called on the European countries to follow suit and pressurise Pakistan into accepting the demands of the Baloch people.

Other speakers said the government had been rattled by the coverage the Balochistan issue had received on various news channels and through the ministry of information the government was trying to put curb on media to further suppress the Balochistan issue.